Antiparasitic activity of ivermectin: Four decades of research into a “wonder drug”

Michal Sulik, Michał Antoszczak, Adam Huczyński, Dietmar Steverding

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Parasitic diseases still pose a serious threat to human and animal health, particularly for millions of people and their livelihoods in low-income countries. Therefore, research into the development of effective antiparasitic drugs remains a priority. Ivermectin, a sixteen-membered macrocyclic lactone, exhibits a broad spectrum of antiparasitic activities, which, combined with its low toxicity, has allowed the drug to be widely used in the treatment of parasitic diseases affecting humans and animals. In addition to its licensed use against river blindness and strongyloidiasis in humans, and against roundworm and arthropod infestations in animals, ivermectin is also used “off-label” to treat many other worm-related parasitic diseases, particularly in domestic animals. In addition, several experimental studies indicate that ivermectin displays also potent activity against viruses, bacteria, protozoans, trematodes, and insects. This review article summarizes the last 40 years of research on the antiparasitic effects of ivermectin, and the use of the drug in the treatment of parasitic diseases in humans and animals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115838
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Early online date27 Sep 2023
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2023


  • Antiparasitic activity
  • Experimental use
  • Ivermectin
  • Licensed use
  • “Off-label” use

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