What organs does ivermectin affect?

Ivermectin is a medication primarily used to treat parasitic infections in humans and animals. It belongs to the class of drugs known as anthelmintics, which are used to treat infections caused by parasitic worms. While ivermectin is generally safe and well-tolerated when used as directed, it can affect various organs and systems in the body.


Ivermectin 6 mg tablet is metabolized in the liver by enzymes known as cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes. In rare cases, high doses of ivermectin or prolonged use may lead to liver toxicity, characterized by elevated liver enzymes and potential liver damage. Patients with pre-existing liver conditions or those taking other medications metabolized by the liver should use ivermectin with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

Central Nervous System (CNS):

Ivermectin can cross the blood-brain barrier and affect the central nervous system (CNS), leading to neurological side effects such as dizziness, headache, and drowsiness. In rare cases, particularly with high doses, ivermectin may cause more severe neurological effects, including seizures and coma. Patients should be cautious when taking ivermectin, especially if they have a history of neurological disorders or are taking other medications that affect the CNS.

Gastrointestinal Tract:

Common side effects of ivermectin include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These symptoms are usually mild to moderate in severity and resolve on their own without the need for specific treatment. Patients should take ivermectin with food to minimize gastrointestinal discomfort and avoid dehydration.

Skin and Eyes:

Topical formulations of ivermectin are used to treat certain skin conditions such as scabies and rosacea. While topical application is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions. In rare cases, topical ivermectin may cause eye irritation or blurred vision if it comes into contact with the eyes. Patients should avoid applying ivermectin near the eyes and rinse thoroughly if accidental exposure occurs.

Cardiovascular System:

Although rare, ivermectin has been associated with cardiovascular side effects such as tachycardia (rapid heart rate) and hypotension (low blood pressure). These effects are more likely to occur with high doses or in individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. Patients with cardiovascular risk factors should use ivermectin cautiously and seek medical attention if they experience symptoms of cardiovascular dysfunction.

Respiratory System:

In rare cases, ivermectin may cause respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), should use ivermectin with caution and seek medical advice if respiratory symptoms occur.

Hematological System:

Ivermectin has been associated with changes in blood cell counts, including leukopenia (reduced white blood cell count) and thrombocytopenia (reduced platelet count).

Healthcare providers may monitor blood cell counts periodically during ivermectin therapy, particularly in patients receiving prolonged treatment or at risk of hematological abnormalities.

Renal System:

While rare, cases of acute kidney injury (AKI) associated with ivermectin use have been reported. Patients with underlying kidney disease or those taking other medications that affect renal function should use ivermectin cautiously and undergo regular monitoring of kidney function.

Immune System:

Ivermectin may modulate immune responses in the body, potentially affecting immune function. While this effect is not fully understood, it underscores the importance of using ivermectin judiciously, especially in individuals with compromised immune systems.

Reproductive System:

Studies suggest that ivermectin does not have significant effects on reproductive function in humans. However, animal studies have shown adverse effects on fertility and reproductive organs at high doses.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should use ivermectin only under the guidance of a healthcare provider, weighing the potential risks and benefits of treatment.

Long-term Effects:

Limited data are available on the long-term effects of ivermectin use, particularly when used for extended periods or at high doses.

Healthcare providers should monitor patients for any signs of organ toxicity or adverse effects associated with prolonged ivermectin therapy and adjust treatment as necessary.

Patient Counseling:

Patients should be educated about the potential side effects of ivermectin and instructed to seek medical attention if they experience any unusual symptoms during treatment.

It is essential for patients to adhere to prescribed dosages and treatment durations and to inform their healthcare provider about any pre-existing medical conditions or medications they are taking.

In summary, while ivermectin is generally considered safe and effective for treating parasitic infections, it can affect various organs and systems in the body. Patients should use ivermectin cautiously, particularly those with pre-existing medical conditions or at risk of adverse reactions, and undergo regular monitoring during therapy to ensure safe and effective treatment outcomes.

In conclusion, while ivermectin is an effective medication for treating parasitic infections, it can affect various organs and systems in the body. Patients should use ivermectin cautiously and under the guidance of a healthcare provider to minimize the risk of adverse effects. It is essential to weigh the potential benefits of ivermectin treatment against the risks and to monitor for any signs of toxicity or adverse reactions during therapy.