Author(s): Leppard B, Naburi AE
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Ivermectin is a potentially useful treatment for scabies. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of ivermectin in the treatment of scabies in an institutional environment. METHODS: A single dose of ivermectin 150 microg kg-1 was given under supervision to 1153 prisoners in a prison in northern Tanzania where there was an outbreak of scabies. RESULTS: Thirty per cent of the prisoners were cured after 1 week, 88\% after 4 weeks and 95.5\% after 8 weeks. Of 16 prisoners with crusted scabies, seven (44\%) still had scabies after 8 weeks. Those who were not cured were then treated with 1\% lindane lotion topically, as were the prison staff who had scabies. This regimen eradicated scabies from the prison for the next 2 years. CONCLUSIONS: Ivermectin is an effective and safe treatment for scabies, particularly in a closed community, such as a prison, where it is easy to administer and avoids problems with compliance. It was of limited efficiency in crusted scabies as a single dose and we recommend that for such patients oral ivermectin is used in combination with a topical scabicide.
This article was published in Br J Dermatol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research