What Happens if You Take Too Much Ivermectin?

Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug used to treat various parasitic infections including external parasites. Ivermectin is available in the form of Ivermectin tablets, Ivermectin cream and ivermectin lotion. Ivermectin oral tablets are prescribed to treat parasitic infections of the intestinal tract, skin and eyes.

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Recently US poison control centres have seen an unexpected increase in the amounts of Ivermectin exposure among humans due to an increase in outpatient Ivermectin dispensing in the US during Covid 19 pandemic. Let’s understand more about what happens if you take too much Ivermectin.

What is Ivermectin?

Ivermectin is a prescription medication proven to be highly effective against various parasitic infections. Ivermectin tablets are accessible as a brand-name drug as well as a generic drug. Generic forms of Ivermectin usually cost less than the brand name version of Ivermectin just like other medications.

Ivermectin tablets are suggested to consume orally so you need to consume them. Ivermectin cream and lotion come for external use that can be applied on the skin. Usually, Ivermectin is prescribed as a short-term treatment however in certain cases, Ivermectin treatment may include a series of doses.

What is Ivermectin Used For?

Ivermectin tablets are FDA approved to treat infections caused by parasitic worms and topical worms. Ivermectin lotion and cream are prescribed to treat head lice and skin conditions such as rosacea.

In animals, Ivermectin is prescribed to treat or prevent parasitic infections. Animal medications are not meant for humans at any cost. Animal-intended drugs are usually highly concentrated and may comprise inactive ingredients that can be extremely toxic for humans.

How Does Ivermectin Work Against Infections?

Ivermectin belongs to the anti-parasitic class of drugs. Ivermectin is approved by USFDA (US Food and drug administration) to treat certain infections caused by internal and external parasites.

Ivermectin oral tablets bind to the internal parts of infections causing parasites. It ultimately paralyses and kills the parasites and stops the adult parasites from producing larvae for a  while. This way Ivermectin treat the infection.

For people who have a weak immune system due to HIV or any other medical condition, one dose of Ivermectin may not be sufficient to treat your infection. Your doctor may suggest you several treatments with Ivermectin.

Ivermectin May Interact With Other medication

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Ivermectin tablets can interact with other medications, herbs, vitamins or other ingredients you are consuming with this drug. An interaction occurs when a substance alters the way a  medicine work. It can prevent the medicine from working properly or can cause harmful effects.

Tell your doctor about any medication, herbs or supplements you are taking so that your doctor can manage all your medications sensibly. Your healthcare provider can manage your doses and medicines to avoid any kind of drug interactions or the possibility of adverse reactions.

A very common example of a medication that can cause interaction with Ivermectin is Warfarin, a blood thinning medication. Consuming Ivermectin and Warfarin together can thin your blood too much causing dangerous bleeding. In case it is necessary to take both of these medications together, your doctor will put you under supervision to monitor your International Normalised ratio (INR).

Taking Too Much Ivermectin Can Result In Ivermectin Overdose

Undoubtedly, consuming too much Ivermectin can cause Ivermectin overdose symptoms and these symptoms can be dangerous or even fatal. It is recommended not to take any prescription drug such as ivermectin, unless your healthcare provider prescribes you.

If your healthcare professional has prescribed you Ivermectin, make sure you follow the dosage instructions. Do not increase or decrease the dose without consulting your doctor. Do not get a double dose of Ivermectin.

Also, humans should strictly not take Ivermectin intended for animals. Ivermectin prescribed for animal use is extremely different from Ivermectin prescribed for humans. Veterinary formulations are extremely large doses and it is not at all safe for humans to take these medications.

Veterinary formulations intended for large animals such as cattle, sheep and horses can be highly concentrated and can cause overdose symptoms when taken by humans.

Symptoms Of Ivermectin Overdose Or Ivermectin Toxicity

Despite the warnings from FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against taking Ivermectin people are using Ivermectin without having a prescription. People are consuming this drug without consulting health care providers.

people who consume inappropriately high doses of Ivermectin above the FDA-recommended dosing can experience the toxic effects of this drug.

Taking too much Ivermectin can cause Ivermectin toxicity symptoms such as sleepiness, skin rash, swelling, lightheadedness dizziness or cough dizziness, headache, gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain), confusion, trouble breathing, disorientation, seizures or coma.

Intentional Ivermectin overdoses may also cause more severe toxicity in humans such as respiratory failure, seizures, metabolic acidosis, coma and low blood pressure. Ivermectin can potentiate the effects of other medications that cause central nervous system depression such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines.

Drug overdoses including Ivermectin are also associated with hypotension and neurological effects including hallucinations, confusion, decreased consciousness and even death.

Call Poison Control Centers In Case Of An Ivermectin Overdose

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In case you have consumed too much Ivermectin oral tablet and experiencing symptoms of Ivermectin toxicity, contact your doctor right away. A healthcare professional can help you treat the toxic effects of Ivermectin.

If you think you have taken too much Ivermectin and even if you have mild symptoms, call a poison control center to make sure that you are not in danger of Ivermectin toxicity or overdose. If you are experiencing severe symptoms seek help from the nearest medical emergency room.

The Missouri Poison Control Center has rescued many intentional as well as accidental Ivermectin poisonings over the years. Many Poison Control Centers reported that often the Ivermectin calls for human exposures are associated with a mistake with medications meant for animals or an error with using topical lotion for head lice. In some cases, people have consumed Ivermectin medications including veterinary products and topical formulations.

Common Adverse Effects Of Ivermectin

Usually, Ivermectin is well tolerated by patients when used exactly as prescribed for approved indications by a healthcare provider. Adverse effects of Ivermectin may occur when the patient is also taking other medications in combination with Ivermectin and intentional Ivermectin overdose can cause serious symptoms.

Just a few side effects are reported by people who took Ivermectin studies and used this drug other than studies. In most cases, the adverse effects of Ivermectin vary depending on the condition is being treated.

Some common adverse effects in patients taking Ivermectin for strongyloidiasis include diarrhoea, dizziness, nausea, and itchiness. Whereas the common side effects experienced by patients taking Ivermectin for onchocerciasis (river blindness) include low blood pressure, increased heart rate, headache, muscle pain and swelling in arms, legs or face

Ivermectin warnings to avoid adverse effects

If you have a asthma, taking Ivermectin may make your condition worse so talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. If you have liver issues or a history of liver problems taking this drug may harm your liver even more. Due to liver problems your body may not be capable enough to process this drug appropriately. So consult with your doctor to make sure this medicine is safe for you.

Ivermectin May Cause An Allergic Reaction

Like many other drugs, Ivermectin may cause an allergic reaction in certain people however allergic reactions were not reported in Ivermectin studies. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include skin rash, itchiness, flushing, swelling under the skin (in lips, eyelids, hands or feet) and swelling of mouth, throat, and tongue making it difficult to breathe.

Ivermectin may cause a severe allergic reaction in some patients so make sure you discuss with your doctor if you are allergic to any drug combination or ingredients etc.

Wrapping Words:

FDA warns people against using Ivermectin and other prescription drugs without consulting a  doctor or healthcare professional. A lot of people have used Ivermectin without a recommendation and veterinary products containing Ivermectin led to Ivermectin overdose and toxicity symptoms.

There is a rapid increase in Ivermectin prescriptions and reports of severe illness linked to the use of Ivermectin-containing products in order to prevent or treat Covid 19. If you have any questions related to Ivermectin use against Covid 19, do not get influenced by rumours instead talk to a licensed healthcare professional for the right suggestion.