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Millions of children weighing less than 15kg are currently denied access to Ivermectin treatment due to insufficient safety data being available to support a change to the current label indication. The WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network’s new meta-analysis provides evidence that supports removing this barrier and improving treatment equity.

Mother and child, waiting at a health centre © Credit: Dominic Chavez World Bank

Ivermectin is a safe, broad-spectrum anthelminthic drug registered for the treatment of several neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) including onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, scabies, and strongyloidiasis. These frequently afflict young children but Ivermectin use is restricted because of a lack of evidence for the safety of these drugs - alternative treatments to ivermectin are frequently less effective or potentially even toxic.

Concerns regarding the potential for neurotoxicity of Ivermectin in infancy are misplaced. This data provide limited but encouraging evidence that the Ivermectin tolerability and safety profile in children weighing less than 15kg is similar to that in heavier, older individuals.

The full story is available on WWARN website

Read the publication: A systematic review and an individual patient data meta-analysis of Ivermectin use in children weighing less than fifteen kilograms: is it time to reconsider the current contra-indication?

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