Ivermectin: a potent new antiparasitic agent

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Science  26 Aug 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4613, pp. 823-828
DOI: 10.1126/science.6308762


Ivermectin is the 22,23-dihydro derivative of avermectin B1, a macrocyclic lactone produced by an actinomycete, Streptomyces avermitilis. It is active at extremely low dosage against a wide variety of nematode and arthropod parasites, apparently by virtue of its action on the mediation of neurotransmission by gamma-aminobutyric acid. It is now in commercial use in various countries for the treatment and control of parasites in cattle, horses, and sheep, and is expected to become available for use in swine and dogs. Since studies with the drug in man are in a preliminary stage, it is not yet known whether ivermectin will be useful in human medicine.

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