Ivermectin 1% cream demonstrates efficacy in treating ocular symptoms associated with Demodex blepharitis when used 15 minutes, once per week, according to a study published in Cornea.

Investigators divided 102 eyes with Demodex blepharitis into an experimental and control group, as determined by the use of topical ivermectin, in this retrospective case-control study. They subjectively evaluated dryness via the Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED) symptom questionnaire, and analyzed Oxford staining score, eyelid debris, eyelid redness/swelling, and telangiectasia during follow-up visits. Both groups performed lid hygiene daily using a product containing tea tree oil.

The SPEED score and eyelid debris grade significantly improved in both groups at follow-up, with more significant improvements noted in the ivermectin group compared with controls (7.4±5.0, P <.001 and 8.0±5.1, P =.009, respectively). The Oxford staining score, eyelid redness/swelling grade, and telangiectasia grade, however, only showed significant improvement in participants using ivermectin (P =.005, P <.001, and P =.006, respectively).


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“Based on these results, it is believed that a combination of topical ivermectin 1% cream and eyelid hygiene can be prescribed as an effective treatment for Demodex blepharitis,” according to the researchers.

The study is limited by a small sample size, reliance on patient self-reporting to document eyelid hygiene and topical treatments, and failure to confirm the absence of Demodex via biomicroscopy. 

Reference

Choi Y, Eom Y, Yoon EG, Song JS, Kim I-H, Kim HM. Efficacy of topical ivermectin 1% in the treatment of Demodex blepharitis. Cornea. 2022;41(4):427-434. doi:10.1097/ICO.0000000000002802.