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moxidectin is an anthelmintic drug used in animals to prevent or control parasitic worms (helminths), such as heartworm and intestinal worms, in dogs, cats, horses, cattle and sheep. moxidectin kills some of the most common internal and external parasites by selectively binding to a parasite’s glutamate-gated chloride ion channels. these channels are vital to the function of invertebrate nerve and muscle cells; when moxidectin binds to the channels, it disrupts neurotransmission, resulting in paralysis and death of the parasite.
moxidectin was approved for onchocerciasis (river-blindness) in 2018 for people over the age of 11 in the united states based on two studies. there is a need for additional trials, with long-term follow-up, to assess whether moxidectin is safe and effective for treatment of nematode infection in children and women of childbearing potential. moxidectin is predicted to be a helpful to achieve elimination goals of this disease.
dogs: prevention of heartworm. in combination with imidacloprid to treat sarcoptic mange.
horses: treatment of parasites including strongylus vulgaris, and stomach bots such as gasterophilus intestinalis.
cattle: treatment of parasites such as the gastrointestinal nematode ostertagia ostertagi, and the lungworm dictyocaulus viviparus.
sheep: treatment of the nematodes teladorsagia circumcincta and haemonchus contortus.
nematodes can develop cross-resistance between moxidectin and other similar parasiticides, such as ivermectin, doramectin and abamectin.
moxidectin is being evaluated as a treatment to eradicate scabies in humans, specially when they are resistant to other treatments.