Oral ivermectin in the treatment of scabies

Int J Dermatol. 1999 Dec;38(12):926-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-4362.1999.00865.x.


One hundred and twenty scabietic patients attending the outpatient clinic of the Department of Dermatology, Mansoura University Hospital, voluntarily participated in this uncontrolled, open label study to evaluate ivermectin 20 microg/kg as a scabietic after they had given their consent. The scabietic subjects included in this study were otherwise healthy, mentally competent, aged more than 18 years, and used no topical antiscabietic treatment in the week before ivermectin treatment, or during the 4-week study period. Patients were also required to show clinical evidence of scabies, and the microscopically demonstrated presence of Sarcoptes scabiei, their eggs, or their fecal pellets (scybala). A thorough history was taken, and a physical examination was conducted that included measurement of the pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and weight. For each participant, the distribution of scabies lesions was plotted on a body diagram, and the severity of disease was recorded as mild (10 or fewer lesions), moderate (11-49 lesions), or severe (50 or more lesions). Skin scrapings were examined for mites, eggs, or scybala. Urinalysis, stool analysis, a complete blood count, prothrombin time, and serum chemistry studies (serum creatinine, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and total bilirubin) were performed before treatment, and 2 and 4 weeks after the drug was given. Ivermectin was administered as scored 6-mg tablets with water, and the dose was designed to provide 200 micrograms/kg (ivermectin was provided by Delta Pharma, Tenth of Ramadan City, Egypt). The patients were instructed to have recently worn clothing, sheets, and towels washed in a hot cycle the day after treatment. The patients were interviewed 3 days after treatment about any symptoms or subjective evidence of adverse reactions. Follow-up examinations were carried out 2 and 4 weeks after intake of ivermectin, and all examination procedures and laboratory investigations were repeated. Cure criteria included absence of nocturnal itching as well as dermatologic evidence of scabies, and negative skin scraping. Patients showing evidence of active scabies or having new lesions during the follow-up visits were given a second dose of ivermectin. All members of the household and immediate family were treated with either topical 5% permethrin cream or 1% gamma benzene hexachloride to reduce the chance of reinfestation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / administration & dosage*
  • Ivermectin / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Scabies / drug therapy*


  • Insecticides
  • Ivermectin