Equivalent therapeutic efficacy and safety of ivermectin and lindane in the treatment of human scabies.
Author(s): Chouela EN, Abeldano AM, Pellerano G, La Forgia M, Papale RM, Garsd A, Balian MC, Battista V, Poggio N
Affiliation(s): Department of Dermatology, the Hospital General de Agudos Dr Cosme Argerich, Buenos Aires, Argentina. email@example.com
Publication date & source: 1999-06, Arch Dermatol., 135(6):651-5.
Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial
OBJECTIVE: To compare the therapeutic efficacy and safety of ivermectin and lindane for the treatment of human scabies. DESIGN: Randomized, prospective, controlled, double-blind, "double-dummy," and parallel clinical study. SETTING: A single department of dermatology at a hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. PATIENTS: Patients were outpatients, hospitalized patients, and those referred to our hospital from nursing homes and asylums. Fifty-three patients had clinical signs and symptoms compatible with scabies. INTERVENTION: Patients received either a single oral dose of ivermectin (150-200 microg/kg of body weight) or a topical application of 1% lindane solution. Treatment was repeated after 15 days if clinical cure had not occurred. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Clinical healing and adverse effects. RESULTS: Of 53 patients, 43 (81%) completed the study, 19 in the group treated with ivermectin and 24 in the group treated with lindane. At day 15, 14 patients (74%; 95% confidence interval, 48.8%-90.8%) in the group receiving ivermectin showed healing of their scabies and 13 patients (54%; 95% confidence interval, 32.8%-74.4%) in the group treated with lindane were healed. At 29 days, both treatments resulted in statistically equivalent therapeutic efficacy: 18 patients (95%; 95% confidence interval, 74.0%-99.9%) were healed with ivermectin and 23 patients (96%; 95% confidence interval, 78.9%, 99.9%) were healed with lindane (P<.02). Adverse effects from the treatments were few, mild, and transient. Results from laboratory tests showed no major abnormalities and no difference between treatments. CONCLUSIONS: Ivermectin is as effective as lindane for the treatment of scabies. Ivermectin is simpler to use and, therefore, is a promising tool to improve compliance and to control infestations.