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Moxidectin (Oral)

Generic Name: moxidectin (mox-i-DEK-tin)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 12, 2021.

Uses for moxidectin

Moxidectin is used to treat river blindness (onchocerciasis) caused by the roundworm parasite Onchocerca volvulus.

Moxidectin is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before using moxidectin

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 moxidectin, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to moxidectin 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 moxidectin in children 12 years of age and older. Safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 12 years of age.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of moxidectin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more sensitive to the effects of moxidectin than younger adults.


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.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of moxidectin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Edema (swelling) or
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
  • Onchodermatitis (sowda), hyperreactive—Use with caution. May make these worse.
  • Loa loa infection—Patients also infected with the Loa loa infection are at an increased risk for encephalopathy (brain problem).

Proper use of moxidectin

Take moxidectin only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

You may take moxidectin with or without food.


The dose of moxidectin 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 moxidectin. 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 oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For the treatment of onchocerciasis:
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—8 milligrams (mg) (four 2 mg tablets) as a single dose.
      • Children younger than 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of moxidectin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


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.

Take all the medicine in the container within 24 hours of opening. Throw away any unused medicine.

Precautions while using moxidectin

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure moxidectin is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Moxidectin may cause flu like symptoms (eg, general feeling of discomfort or illness, unusual tiredness or weakness, joint or muscle pain, headache, fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse, itching skin) most commonly during the first week after treatment due to the death of the parasite.

Serious skin reactions may occur during treatment with moxidectin. Check with your doctor right away if you have skin rash, hives, or itching.

Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, difficulty with reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want your eyes be checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help. If this problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

Moxidectin does not kill adult roundworms. Check with your doctor if you feel that moxidectin is not working as it should or if your symptoms get worse.

Encephalopathy (brain problem) may occur when used in patients infected with another parasite, Loa loa. Check with your doctor right away if you have agitation, back pain, blurred vision, loss of consciousness, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, fever, hallucinations, headache, irritability, mood or mental changes, seizures, stiff neck, unusual tiredness or weakness, or vomiting.

Moxidectin 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.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  • Black, tarry stools
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • bone or muscle pain
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • coma
  • confusion
  • cough
  • decreased urine output
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in moving
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • eye pain or itching
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • fever
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • hives or welts, itching, skin rash
  • hoarseness
  • increased thirst
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of consciousness
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle ache, pain, or cramp
  • nausea
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • rapid weight gain
  • runny nose
  • seizures
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stomach pain or cramps
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • swollen glands
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • trouble breathing
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • vomiting

Less common

  • Blurred vision
  • burning, dry, itching, or watering of the eyes
  • discharge, excessive tearing
  • feeling of having something in the eye
  • redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • trouble seeing

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.