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What does it do?

Ivermectin is used to treat certain types of worm infections, and for scabies that is resistant to usual treatments.

Before you start

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever lived, worked or travelled in Central or West Africa. People infected with certain worms that live in these areas can have more severe side effects with ivermectin.

How should you take it?

Take ivermectin as directed with a glass of water. Take it on an empty stomach - one hour before or two hours after food.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Skin rash

Common when you first start - if it continues or is severe, tell your doctor.


Common when you first start but should improve.

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • For infections with very large numbers of worms (not scabies), there can be more severe effects as your body reacts to the worms dying. Ask your doctor if this applies to you and what to do if it happens.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. March 2023

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed