Wednesday, March 6, 2013


By Dr. Becker

Ivermectin is an anti-parasite medication given to dogs to prevent heartworm disease and to treat various other parasite-related conditions like demodectic and sarcoptic mange, and ear mites.

As a heartworm preventive, ivermectin is the active ingredient in products including:

•Ivomec® and Heartgard® by Merial
•Zimectrin® by Farnam
•Iverhart® by Virbac
•Tri-Heart® by Intervet
•Various generics

Ivermectin works by causing neurological damage to specific parasites, which results in paralysis and death. Currently, the FDA approves use of ivermectin for heartworm prevention and the treatment of ear mites (Acarexx®) only in dogs. All other uses of the drug – for example to treat certain varieties of mange, or to clear heartworm larvae in dogs with active heartworm infection -- are considered off-label.

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