Treatment of scabies: the topical ivermectin vs. permethrin 2.5% cream.
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Human scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei va. hominis). It is commonly treated with topical insecticides, but the treatment of choice is still controversial. The aim of this study is to compare the efficacy of topical ivermectin vs. permethrin 2.5% cream for the treatment of scabies. In total, 380 patients with scabies were enrolled, and randomized into two groups: the first group received 1% ivermectin applied topically to the affected skin at a dose of 400 microg/kg, repeated once the following week, while the second group received permethrin 2.5% cream and were told to apply this twice at one week intervals. Treatment was evaluated at intervals of 2 and 4 weeks, and if there was treatment failure at the 2-week follow-up, treatment was repeated. Two applications of topical ivermectin provided a cure rate of 63.1% at the 2-week follow-up, which increased to 84.2% at the 4-week follow-up after repeating the treatment. Treatment with two applications of permethrin 2.5% cream with a 1-week interval between them was effective in 65.8% of patients at the 2-week follow-up, which increased to 89.5% at the 4-week follow-up after this treatment was repeated. Two application of ivermectin was as effective as two applications of permethrin 2.5% cream at the 2-week follow-up. After repeating the treatment, ivermectin was as effective as permethrin 2.5% cream at the 4-week follow up.