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Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2012 Sep-Oct;78(5):605-10. doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.100571.

Comparative efficacy and safety of topical permethrin, topical ivermectin, and oral ivermectin in patients of uncomplicated scabies.

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Department of Pharmacology, C. U. Shah Medical College, Surendranagar, Gujarat, India.



Ivermectin has opened a new era in the management of scabies as orally effective drug. However, topical route has been little explored for ivermectin.


To compare the efficacy and safety of topical permethrin, oral ivermectin, and topical ivermectin in the treatment of uncomplicated scabies.


This was an open-label, randomized, comparative, parallel clinical trial conducted in 315 patients, randomly allocated to 3 groups. First group received permethrin 5% cream as single application, second group received tablet ivermectin 200 mcg/kg as single dose, and third group received ivermectin 1% lotion as single application. All the patients received anti-histaminic for pruritus. The patients were followed up at intervals of 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks. If there were no signs of cure, the same intervention was repeated at each follow up. Primary efficacy variable was clinical cure of lesions. Statistical analysis was done by chi square test and one way ANOVA test using SPSS version 12.


At the end of first week, cure rate was 74.8% in permethrin group, 30% in oral ivermectin group, and 69.3% in topical ivermectin group (P < 0.05). At the end of second week, cure rate was 99% in permethrin group, 63% in oral ivermectin group, and 100% in topical ivermectin group (P < 0.05). At the end of third week, 100% cure rate was observed in permethrin and topical ivermectin group while 99% in oral ivermectin group (P = 0.367). No serious adverse events were observed.


Permethrin and topical ivermectin were equally effective against scabies while oral ivermectin was significantly less effective up to 2 weeks. Topical ivermectin can be used as an alternative to permethrin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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