Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about STROMECTOL.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking STROMECTOL against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
What STROMECTOL is used for
STROMECTOL is used to treat river blindness (onchocerciasis) and threadworm involving the intestines (intestinal strongyloidiasis). These are caused by worm infections.
In onchocerciasis the worm infection mainly affects the skin, glands (lymph nodes) and eyes. Changes to the skin may include an itchy rash, pale or dark patches, nodules (small lumps under the skin), thickening of the skin and/or loss of elasticity. The infection can cause enlarged glands in the neck, armpits or groin. The infection can also affect the eye and may cause conjunctivitis, a gritty or painful eye and may lead to blindness.
In the form of strongyloidiasis that is treated with STROMECTOL, the worm infection mainly affects the intestines and skin. Symptoms which may occur include itchy rash, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain.
STROMECTOL works by killing the developing worms.
Your doctor may have prescribed STROMECTOL for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why STROMECTOL has been prescribed for you.
Before you take STROMECTOL
When you must not take it
Do not take STROMECTOL if:
you have an allergy to STROMECTOL or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
you are pregnant, or intend to become pregnant
Safety of the use of STROMECTOL in pregnancy has not been established.
the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack has passed.
If you take this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work.
If you are not sure whether you should take STROMECTOL, talk to your doctor.
For the treatment of river blindness, do not give STROMECTOL to children under 5 years of age. For this worm infection, the safety of STROMECTOL in children under 5 years of age has not been established.
For the treatment of strongyloidiasis, do not give STROMECTOL to children under 12 years of age. For this worm infection, the effectiveness of STROMECTOL in children under 12 years of age has not been established.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if:
1. if you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
Your doctor will discuss the possible risks to your baby if you take STROMECTOL while you are breast-feeding.
2. you have or have had any medical conditions, especially:
3. you have been treated for river blindness before.
You may be more likely than others to experience serious side effects with STROMECTOL.
4. if you have any allergies to any other medicines or any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you take STROMECTOL.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food store. Some medicines and STROMECTOL may interfere with each other. These include warfarin, used to prevent blood clots.
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or to avoid while taking STROMECTOL.
How to take STROMECTOL
How much to take
Your doctor will tell you how many tablets you need to take.
The dose depends on your infection and your weight or height. The dose usually ranges from one tablet to five tablets taken as a single dose.
For river blindness, you may need to take another dose in 6 to 12 months time.
How to take it
Take STROMECTOL as a single dose with a full glass of water.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or a Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) if you think that you have or anyone else may have taken too much STROMECTOL. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
If you take too many tablets, you may experience some of the following:
skin rash, hives;
swelling of the legs, ankles or feet;
headache, dizziness, feeling sleepy;
nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea; stomach pain
dilated pupils of your eyes
shortness of breath;
walking unsteadily; decreased activity; shaking (or tremors); unusual weakness; tingling or numbness of the hands or feet; seizure.
While you are using STROMECTOL
Things you must do
Visit your doctor if scheduled, to check the progress of your infection. This is to help make sure that the infection has cleared up completely. For threadworm, your doctor may do a follow-up examination of your stools.
Things you must not do
Do not give STROMECTOL to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how STROMECTOL affects you. STROMECTOL may cause dizziness, light headedness, spinning sensation (vertigo), tremor, tiredness or sleepiness in some people. Make sure you know how you react to STROMECTOL before you drive a car, operate machinery or perform any other tasks that require you to be alert.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking STROMECTOL. STROMECTOL helps most people with river blindness or threadworm, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
For river blindness:
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
painful joints or muscles
painful and tender glands in the neck, armpits or groin
skin rash, itching or swelling
lightheadedness or dizziness, especially when standing up
swelling of the eyelids, conjunctivitis, a gritty or painful eye, visual impairment
swelling of the face, legs, ankles or feet
fast heart beat
Some of these are symptoms of an allergic reaction which may occur as a result of the death of the worms after taking STROMECTOL for river blindness. They are usually not serious side effects.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
unusual tiredness or weakness
nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation
lack or loss of appetite
spinning sensation, also called vertigo
shaking or tremors
skin rash, itching or hives
lightheadedness or dizziness, expecially when standing up
These are usually not serious side effects.
For river blindness or threadworm:
If the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to accident and emergency at your nearest hospital:
severe skin reaction which starts with painful red areas, then large blisters and ends with peeling of layers of skin. This is accompanied by fever and chills, aching muscles and generally feeling unwell
skin condition with severe blisters and bleeding in the lips, eyes, mouth, nose and genitals
These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. These side effects are rare.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Tell your doctor if you notice any other effects.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
After using STROMECTOL
Keep your tablets in the aluminium foil pack until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the box or aluminium foil they may not keep well.
Keep STROMECTOL in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.
Do not store it or any other medicines in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave it in the car or on window sills. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If the tablets have passed their expiry date ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over.
What it looks like
STROMECTOL is a white, round tablet with MSD marked on one side and 32 on the other side.
A pack contains 4 tablets.
STROMECTOL contains ivermectin 3 mg per tablet.
pregelatinised maize starch
citric acid anhydrous
STROMECTOL does not contain lactose, sucrose, gluten, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.
STROMECTOL is supplied in Australia by:
Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Limited
54-68 Ferndell Street
South Granville NSW 2142
This leaflet was reviewed in April 2008
Australian Register Number:
AUST R 69142
® Registered Trademark of Merck & Co., Inc. Whitehouse Station, N.J. U.S.A.