Generic Name: ivermectin (eye-ver-MEK-tin)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 21, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Anthelmintic
Chemical Class: Avermectin
Uses for ivermectin
Ivermectin 0.5% topical lotion is used to treat head lice infestations.
Ivermectin 1% topical cream is used to treat lesions of rosacea. Rosacea is a skin disease that causes redness and pimples on your nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead.
Ivermectin is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using ivermectin
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For ivermectin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to ivermectin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ivermectin topical lotion in children 6 months of age and older. However, use is not recommended in infants younger than 6 months of age.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of ivermectin topical cream in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ivermectin topical lotion or cream in the elderly.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Proper use of ivermectin
Use ivermectin exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor tells you. Do not change your treatment without checking first with your doctor.
Ivermectin comes with a patient information leaflet and patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
To use Sklice® topical lotion:
- Use Sklice® on the hair and scalp only. Keep the medicine out of your eyes, nose, mouth, and vagina. If the medicine gets in your eyes, rinse them well with water.
- Wash your hands before and after using ivermectin.
- Apply the medicine directly to the scalp and dry hair closest to the scalp and then apply outwards to the ends of your hair.
- Completely cover your scalp and hair (up to 1 tube). Leave the medicine on the hair and scalp for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, rinse your hair with warm water and dry with a clean towel. Comb hair with a fine-toothed comb to remove any nits (eggs) or nit shells. They look like small white dots.
- If live lice are seen 7 days after using ivermectin, tell your doctor right away.
- Do not use ivermectin again without talking first with your doctor.
- Children will need an adult to apply the medicine for them.
- Throw away any unused medicine left in the tube after each use.
- It is best to wait for 24 hours before applying shampoo on the treated hair and scalp areas. Do not use cosmetics and other hair products on these areas as well.
To use Soolantra® topical cream:
- Ivermectin is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, mouth, or vagina. Do not use it on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.
- Wash your hands before and after using ivermectin.
- Use a pea-sized amount for each affected area of the face (forehead, chin, nose, cheeks).
- Spread a thin layer and avoid the eyes and lips.
The dose of ivermectin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of ivermectin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For topical dosage form (cream):
- For rosacea:
- Adults—Apply to the affected area(s) of the face once a day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For rosacea:
- For topical dosage form (lotion):
- For head lice:
- Adults and children 6 months of age and older—Apply directly to dry hair and scalp one time only.
- Children younger than 6 months of age—Use is not recommended.
- For head lice:
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Do not freeze Sklice® topical lotion.
Precautions while using ivermectin
For patients using Sklice®:
- Head lice can easily spread from one person to another by direct contact with clothing, hats, bandannas, scarves, bedding, towels, washcloths, ribbons, hair bands, helmets, hairbrushes and combs, or hairs from infected persons. All members of your household should be checked for head lice and should receive treatment if they are found to be infected. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
- To prevent the spread of lice: Dry-clean or wash your clothes, bedding, and personal items (including washcloths, towels, hats, scarves, combs, brushes, hairpieces, and wigs) in hot, soapy water. Tumble dry in a hot dryer for 20 minutes.
- Do not use ivermectin for a hair or scalp problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
For patients using Soolantra®:
- If your skin problem does not improve within a few days or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.
- Do not use ivermectin for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
- If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
Ivermectin side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Burning, itching, redness, or stinging of the skin
- burning, dry, or itching eyes
- discharge or excessive tearing
- dry skin
- redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about ivermectin topical
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- 335 Reviews
- Drug class: topical anti-infectives
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.