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Trop Doct. 2001 Jan;31(1):15-8.

Successful treatment of scabies with oral ivermectin in Nigeria.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, UNEC, Enugu, Nigeria.


Currently, several topical scabicides are available but there is yet no oral or parenteral drug which has been established for the treatment of scabies in Nigeria. Ivermectin which is a modified avermectin, known to be an ectoparasiticidal agent in animals, has been used in adults for systemic parasitosis. In Nigeria, 25% benzyl benzoate is being extensively used for the treatment of scabies in adults. It is effective and readily available. The present study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ivermectin in the treatment of patients with scabies at the skin clinic of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu. Fifty-eight patients with scabies were recruited for the study; 13 (22.4%) were children aged between 5-14 years. Oral ivermectin was given in a single dose of 200 [microg/kg body weight to 29 patients. The remaining 29 patients had to apply 25% benzyl benzoate emulsion. All patients received a full physical and dermatological examination prior to onset of treatment and weekly for 4 weeks. Skin scrapings were taken to confirm the diagnosis of scabies. There was a 93% resolution of pruritus with ivermectin and 48% with benzyl benzoate. No side effects were observed with ivermectin. Our results show that oral ivermectin is a promising, effective and safe alternative in both children and adults of Nigeria when compared to 25% benzyl benzoate topical application.

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