The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee has recommended ivermectin (Stromectol®), as an authority benefit, for the treatment of scabies (Sarcoptes scabiei) when the infestation is severe (i.e. crusted or Norwegian), or when topical therapy with permethrin and benzoyl benzoate has failed or is contraindicated.
Ivermectin is considered the only effective treatment available for crusted scabies (along with topical therapy) and is already PBS listed for the parasitic worm infections that cause onchocerciasis (river blindness) and intestinal strongyloidiasis (anguillulosis).
Harvested from fermentation broths of Streptomyces avermitilis, ivermectin interferes with GABA-dependent neurotransmission, but does not affect mammals due to poor penetration into the central nervous system.
Dosage varies with the infection and patient weight and the oral tablets may be repeated between day 8 and day 15, if necessary for recalcitrant scabies.
The most common side-effects reported during the treatment of scabies include headache, joint pain, loss of appetite and worsening of the itching; these are attributed to the death of the mites.
Please review full product information before prescribing.