There are two categories of infections triggered by parasitical worms; these are onchocerciasis and stongyloidiasis. The former is also called as river blindness. This condition leads to ocular conditions as well as growth of tissues under your skin. On the other hand, stongyloidiasis may show up without any major signs. In some cases, it may show up as bloating of stomach, indigestion and diarrhea. Ivermectin is one among the widely prescribed, FDA-approved drugs for treating these conditions. But, what are the precautions required for the safe intake of this drug? It is important to know more on needful precautions.
Anti-parasitic drugs are of two types; those used to treat people and those given to animals. It is important to use drugs that are approved by the food and drug administration (FDA). Most drugs can treat onchocerciasis as well as stongyloidiasis. If you are witnessing itchiness or rashes along with an eye condition, it may be a spell of onchocerciasis. Intense episodes of acid reflux (also known as heartburn), pain in your lower abdomen and other abdominal discomforts such as formation of gas, nausea, vomiting and also skin conditions like rashes or hives are typical symptoms of stongyloidiasis.
Ivermectin is a commonly used tablet for the case management of both the aforesaid forms of infections. These are triggered by parasitic worms such as tapeworms, hookworms or pinworms. This med is also used for treating lice on the head, scabies as well as rosacea. Of these skin problems, rosacea resembles a lot like acne and may show up as bumps on skin. These bumps are more likely to form on nose, chin and other facial organs. In some remote cases, people may witness these bumps on their chest or neck areas. Scabies are itchy spells caused by very little mites. These tiny organisms live off your skin and form rashes on skin which may appear as blisters or sores. Ivermectin is also used to treat a few conditions observed in animals. These include onset of heartworm infections (this drug is used for preventing these spells) as well as for treating the onset of other forms of parasitic worms.
Safe use of ivermectin
It is not a safe practice for humans to take dosages prescribed for animals. Doses administered for bigger animals like say, a bull or a horse may trigger toxic effects if consumed by humans. Users may often end up in an overdosed condition upon taking such large doses. Hence, it is important to take needful guidance from a qualified medical practitioner prior to taking doses of ivermectin. This drug is likely to trigger a few undesired side effects; these adverse effects include pain in the lower half of abdomen, feeling nauseated, discharge of watery stools, indigestion as well as vomiting. These discomforts may last only for a few days. They may cease to show up as soon as your body gets used to the key ingredients of ivermectin. However, if one or more of these abdominal problems is continuing to bother you, consult with your caregiving team on an urgent mode.
Precautions associated with the intake of ivermectin
Take medical help on an emergency mode when you observe severe side effects like erratic heartbeats or faster pulse rate, severe breathing problems, becoming very tired and weak, etc. Those who are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or disorders (in short, COPD) such as bronchitis or asthma need to inform their caregiver about such respiratory conditions. Also, those with hepatic dysfunction (like cirrhosis or hepatitis) must understand that ivermectin can injure the functioning of your liver. In people living with autoimmune conditions or ailments like HIV AIDS, the dosages of ivermectin may not be adequate to bring about needful cure. In such cases, your caregiving team may prescribe a combination of drugs to heal the infections.
In general, it is a safe practice to tell your doctor about all prior allergies and hypersensitivity to meds, chemicals or key ingredients as well as foods. Those who are taking blood thinners such as warfarin may need to exercise added caution; this is because ivermectin reacts very adversely with such blood thinning meds. Intake of these two drugs together can cause bruises and severe internal bleeding. Prepare a list of all the drugs you are currently taking. Also, share details about treatment plans that you are presently pursuing. After sharing these details, never make any changes to these plans (i.e., treatment and medication plans alike) without having the consent of your caregiver and pharmacist.
Among women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
A few studies done on animals have showcased the possible damages key chemicals of ivermectin can cause to the fetus. Owing to such inherent risks, this med is never prescribed to women who are pregnant. In very remote cases, when the benefits far exceed the risks involved – a small dose of this drug is administered to women who are pregnant. Those who have become pregnant while using this med need to call their treating doctor and explain their condition on a top priority basis. Among women who are planning to become pregnant, this drug is rarely used. In such cases, your doctor may advise the use of non-hormonal birth control measures such as skin patches or vaginal rings, etc. The key chemicals used in ivermectin are likely to get into mother’s milk. Babies who feed on such milk may develop feeding problems or sleeping difficulties. You are hence advised to stop using this med if you are presently nursing an infant.
In sum, it is highly recommended to refrain from taking an overdose of this drug. If taken in larger dose forms, ivermectin may cause acute discomforts such as convulsions or fits, respiratory problems like wheezing or gasping for breath. In a few one-off cases, an overdose has led to severe spells of dizziness, being extremely drowsy, passing out or slipping into coma. Stay aware that in some extremely rare instances, a significantly large dose has led to death. If you are sensing any discomforts and are living in the US, call 911 as quickly as possible. Those who live in Canada can either call Health Canada or contact a poison control unit functioning in your province. For all needful safety precautions associated with the intake of ivermectin, talk to a qualified clinical practitioner before starting your treatment plan.