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Ivermectin for Parasitic Skin Infections of Scabies: A Review of Comparative Clinical Effectiveness, Cost-Effectiveness, and Guidelines

Book. 2019 05 16

Authors: Chiu S, Argaez C

Abstract
Scabies is a skin condition caused by the parasitic infestation of the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. Scabies results in intense, debilitating itching and skin papules, nodules, and vesicles and is transmitted through direct contact. In a small proportion of cases, typically in those with immunosuppression, hyperinfestation and crusted scabies can develop and lead to secondary bacterial infection associated with significant morbidity and mortality.1–3 The Global Burden of Disease study estimated that the global prevalence of scabies was approximately 200 million in 2015.4 High prevalence of scabies is associated with tropical regions, resource-poor settings, and overcrowded settings.1–4 Outbreaks of scabies have previously been reporting in chronic health care facilities in Canada.5 In Canada, common scabicides for the treatment of scabies include: topical 5% permethrin, topical crotamiton 10%, pharmacy-compounded topical sulfur 5% to 10%, and topical or oral ivermectin.6 According to the Canadian Paediatric Society Position Statement on scabies,6 topical treatments applied from the neck down are typically used to treat scabies and first-line treatment is topical permethrin. Some topical treatments, including permethrin, are repeated after one to two weeks to improve effectiveness as they do not affect mite eggs.6 Treatment is recommended not only for the patient with scabies but also all close contacts at the same time to prevent transmission to others and re-infestation in the originally affected patient.1–3,6 Similarly, washing linens and clothing in hot water is a precautionary measure to prevent fomite transmission.2,6 Lindane and benzyl benzoate are treatment options for scabies that are not currently approved by Health Canada.6 There are concerns with neurotoxicity with lindane and benzyl benzoate is associated with skin irritation.6 Oral ivermectin previously was obtained through the Health Canada Special Access Programme for treating parasitic infections.6,7 Recently, topical and oral ivermectin have been approved by Health Canada and their approved indications are for the treatment of rosacea and intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, respectively.8,9 Therefore, these treatment options can now be evaluated for drug plan coverage decisions. Ivermectin is not approved for use in children less than 15 kg in weight or patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding.6 The objective of this report is to review the evidence regarding clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of ivermectin for the treatment of parasitic skin infections of scabies. Additionally, this reports aims to review the evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of ivermectin for the treatment of parasitic skin infections of scabies. A 2010 CADTH report10 summarized evidence on the clinical effectiveness and safety of treatments for lice and scabies.


PMID: 31424718

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