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Ivermectin, also known by its many brand names including Soolantra, Sklice, and Stromectol, is an anti-parasitic that was first discovered the 1970’s after being isolated from a microorganisms. After its discovery, it was known as a “wonder drug” for its many uses against common parasites. Commonly used to treat roundworm and threadworms, it is used not only in humans but also in dogs, cats, guinea pigs and other pets that can also get infected with parasites.
Ivermectin was first commonly adopted for treating parasitic infections of livestock. For humans, in addition to treating parasitic worms that live in the gut, it is also the active ingredient in shampoo for treating head lice. It is also used to treat the very itchy condition known as scabies, which is caused by burrowing parasites in the skin.
Recently it is known in the news for a potential cure to new virus, but real evidence for any alleviating or preventative effects of ivermectin for viruses is largely unsubstantiated. Specifically the FDA cautions and advises people against using ivermectin as a preventative or treating medication for new virus Specifically ivermectin can be very unsafe for human consumption. The doses for animals are much higher than ones humans can tolerate. Furthermore, ivermectin has many side effects, which when used without medical supervision, can result in serious injury.
Mechanism of action
Ivermectin’s mechanism of action is an interesting one. It paralyzes the muscles in the body-wall and pharynx of nematode worms, thereby inhibiting their growth and effectively killing them, while not affecting human muscles. However it is not without side effects, which include skin rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, eye problems, neurological symptoms, facial and limb swelling. In addition to milder side effects including gastrointestinal upset and discomfort, one of the most serious side effect is that ivermectin can act as a neurotoxin in rare cases. The long list of side effects means that ivermectin should be taken carefully. It is a prescription medication and not given without physician authorisation.
Now that we’ve discussed the way ivermectin works and how it can cause serious side effects in the body, it is clear that one should not take ivermectin without physician supervision and care, especially for new virus, where it has no demonstrated efficacy. Virus, unlike roundworms, lice, or scabies, which are parasites. The coronavirus and parasites are very different in their biology. The coronavirus itself does not have any muscles on which ivermectin could act, as ivermectin would work on inhibiting parasitic muscles. Furthermore, the side effects mean that taking ivermectin can be dangerous, without providing any benefits against viruses. There are ongoing clinical trials as of October 2020 on whether ivermectin could be beneficial in new viruses treatment, but that would be a different way of action compared to the muscle paralysis it induces in parasites.
How to buy Ivermectin (Stromectol) in Australia
If one does need to get ivermectin in Australia, depending on what one is hoping to treat, one may be find specific formulations over the counter. Certain formulations, such as for head lice, have low enough concentrations of ivermectin that one can find it in over the counter shampoo. However, oral ivermectin, which is ivermectin one takes by mouth and which causes high systemic concentrations with potential toxicities, must be prescribed by a supervising physician.
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Category: Intestinal worm infections