• The ocular changes that occur with diethylcarbamazine treatment of onchocerciasis seriously restrict its usefulness. Ivermectin, a newly developed antifilarial drug, was compared with diethylcarbamazine for treatment of onchocerciasis in a double-masked, placebo-controlled trial. Thirty men with moderate to severe infection and ocular involvement were randomly assigned to receive ivermectin as a single oral dose (200 μg/kg), diethylcarbamzine (administered for eight days), or placebo. Detailed ocular examinations were performed serially over a 12-month period. Diethylcarbamazine treatment caused a marked increase in living and dead microfilariae in the cornea, punctate opacities, and limbitis during the first week of therapy. lvermectin had no such effect. However, ivermectin therapy resulted in a long-term reduction in intraocular microfilariae comparable to that seen with diethylcarbamazine. Ivermectin appears to have few ocular complications and be a better-tolerated and more effective microfilaricidal agent than diethylcarbamazine for the treatment of onchocerciasis.
Taylor HR, Murphy RP, Newland HS, White AT, D'Anna SA, Keyvan-Larijani E, Aziz MA, Cupp EW, Greene BM. Treatment of OnchocerciasisThe Ocular Effects of Ivermectin and Diethylcarbamazine. Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(6):863-870. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050180097039