Comparative study of oral ivermectin, topical permethrin and benzyl benzoate in the treatment of scabies

G. Chitti Babu, Kavita Dhar Bagati, Praveen Agarwal, Jyostna Sharma


Background: Efficacy of these modalities as shown by various investigations are inconsistent and ambiguous. Thus, evidence based effective treatment option is warranted. Aim of the study was to compare the efficacy of oral ivermectin, topical permethrin and benzyl benzoate in the treatment of uncomplicated scabies.

Methods: Patients with confirmed diagnosis of scabies were included in this study. One hundred and ninety-five subjects were included in this investigation as per inclusion and exclusion criteria laid down. Equal numbers of patients were randomly allocated to one of the three treatment groups. Efficacy of three groups [oral ivermectin (Group A), topical permethrin (Group B) and benzyl benzoate (Group C)] of drugs was compared in terms of improvement in clinical grading of disease (%) and improvement in clinical grading of pruritus (%) during follow up visits.

Results: Those subjects receiving topical permethrin, at 1st follow up 56.9% showed cure rate which increased to 89.2% at 2nd follow up with respect to clinical improvement in pruritus. Maximum relief in severity of pruritus at the end of 6th week was reported by 58(89.2%) patients receiving group B treatment modality followed by 52 patients (80%) in arm A. Regarding efficacy of three treatment groups in terms of improvement in severity of lesion at the end of 6 weeks, maximum number of patients 57(87.7%), receiving group B treatment reported improvement which is better than other two treatment groups.

Conclusions: maximum number of patients receiving topical Permethrin treatment reported improvement better than other Oral Ivermectin therapy and topical benzyl benzoate. Oral ivermectin may serve a good alternative for managing scabies under certain conditions like poor compliance to topical scabicides.


Benzyl benzoate, Efficacy, Ivermectin, Scabies, Permethrin

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