who owns ivermectin

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Image Credit: Our Science – Équilibre Biopharmaceuticals Corp

Overview

Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug. After its discovery in 1975, its first uses were in veterinary medicine to prevent and treat heartworm and acariasis. Approved for human use in 1987, today it is used to treat infestations including head lice, scabies, river blindness (onchocerciasis), strongyloidiasis, trichuriasis, ascariasis and lymphatic filariasis. It works through many mechanisms to kill the targete…

Medical uses

Ivermectin is used to treat human diseases caused by roundworms and ectoparasites.
For river blindness (onchocerciasis) and lymphatic filariasis, ivermectin is typically given as part of mass drug administration campaigns that distribute the drug to all members of a community affected by the disease. For river blindness, a single oral dose of ivermectin (150 micrograms per kilogram of body weight) clears the body of larval Onchocerca volvulusworms for several month…

Contraindications

The only absolute contraindication to the use of ivermectin is hypersensitivity to the active ingredient or any component of the formulation. In children under the age of five or those who weigh less than 15 kilograms (33 pounds), there is limited data regarding the efficacy or safety of ivermectin, though the available data demonstrate few adverse effects. However, the American Academy of Pediatricscautions against use of ivermectin in such patients, as the blood-brain ba…

Adverse effects

Side effects, although uncommon, include fever, itching, and skin rash when taken by mouth; and red eyes, dry skin, and burning skin when used topically for head lice. It is unclear if the drug is safe for use during pregnancy, but it is probably acceptable for use during breastfeeding.
Ivermectin is considered relatively free of toxicity in standard doses (around 300 µg/kg). Based on the data drug safety sheet for ivermectin, side effects are uncommon. However, serious advers…

Veterinary use

Ivermectin is routinely used to control parasitic worms in the gastrointestinal tract of ruminantanimals. These parasites normally enter the animal when it is grazing, pass the bowel, and set and mature in the intestines, after which they produce eggs that leave the animal via its droppings and can infest new pastures. Ivermectin is only effective in killing some of these parasites, this is because of an increase in anthelmintic resistance. This resistance has arisen from the persisten…

Pharmacology

Ivermectin and its related drugs act by interfering with the nerve and muscle functions of helminths and insects. The drug binds to glutamate-gated chloride channels common to invertebrate nerve and muscle cells. The binding pushes the channels open, which increases the flow of chloride ionsand hyper-polarizes the cell membranes, paralyzing and killing the invertebrate. Ivermectin is safe f…

Chemistry

Fermentation of Streptomyces avermitilis yields eight closely related avermectin homologues, of which B1a and B1b form the bulk of the products isolated. In a separate chemical step, the mixture is hydrogenated to give ivermectin, which is an approximately 80:20 mixture of the two 22,23-dihydroavermectin compounds.

History

The avermectin family of compounds was discovered by Satoshi Ōmura of Kitasato University and William Campbell of Merck. In 1970, Ōmura isolated a strain of Streptomyces avermitilis from woodland soil near a golf course along the south east coast of Honshu, Japan. Ōmura sent the bacteria to William Campbell, who showed that the bacterial culture could cure mice infected with the roundworm Heligmosomoides polygyrus. Campbell isolated the active compounds from the …

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