Soolantra (ivermectin)

Medically Reviewed By Melissa Badowski, PharmD, MPH, FCCP

About Soolantra

Soolantra is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat rosacea in adults. Specifically, Soolantra is used to treat inflammatory lesions (bumps and blemishes) on the face caused by rosacea.

For more details about this condition and how the drug treats it, see the “Soolantra: Use for rosacea” section below.

Key points

The following table provides key facts about Soolantra.

Active drug ivermectin
Drug class antiparasitic
Form topical cream

Finding a healthcare professional

If you’re interested in using this drug, search here to find a doctor who might prescribe it.

Soolantra: Generic

Soolantra is a brand-name medication. It contains the active drug ivermectin, which also comes in a generic form. A generic is an identical copy of the active drug found in a brand-name medication.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures that generic drugs are as safe and effective as their original drug. Generics tend to be less expensive than brand-name drugs.

If you’d like to know about the generic version of Soolantra, ask your doctor or pharmacist. They can tell you if the generic medication comes in forms and strengths recommended for your condition.

Soolantra: Use for rosacea

Prescription drugs, such as Soolantra, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain conditions. Doctors sometimes prescribe drugs off-label for other conditions. With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Using Soolantra for rosacea

Soolantra is FDA-approved to treat rosacea in adults. Specifically, Soolantra is used to treat inflammatory lesions (bumps and blemishes) on the face caused by rosacea.

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes inflammatory lesions on the face. These areas may appear flushed, irritated, or swollen. Depending on your skin tone, these areas may appear red, pink, brown, or another color.

This skin condition most often affects the cheeks and nose. It can also affect the chin, forehead, eyelids, ears, back, and chest.

Rosacea is thought to be caused by inflammation and vasodilation. Inflammation is an immune system response that leads to swelling and irritation. And vasodilation occurs when blood vessels open too widely, increasing blood flow more than usual. This may lead to the symptoms of skin discoloration and flushing.

Using Soolantra in children

Soolantra is only approved for adult use. It isn’t known whether this medication is safe or effective for children under age 18 years old.

Finding a healthcare professional for Soolantra

If you’re interested in trying Soolantra, you can find a doctor who may prescribe it by searching here. To prepare for your appointment, you may find it helpful to read Healthgrades’ rosacea appointment guide.

Soolantra: Side effects

As with most drugs, it’s possible to have side effects with Soolantra. However, Soolantra’s side effects are typically mild.

To learn more about Soolantra’s side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may also provide information about managing certain side effects of this drug.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Soolantra, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild and serious side effects

Mild and serious side effects of Soolantra are listed below. This article does not include all of Soolantra’s possible side effects.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Soolantra may include:

Most times, mild side effects of a drug go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if any side effects become severe or don’t go away.

* This is not a complete list of Soolantra’s mild side effects. To learn about other mild side effects of this drug, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Or you can view the drug’s prescribing information.
† To learn more about allergic reaction, see below. An allergic reaction is possible after using Soolantra. However, this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical studies.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects of Soolantra may include:

Serious side effects from Soolantra aren’t common, but they are possible. If you have serious side effects, call your doctor right away. However, if you’re having a medical emergency or your symptoms feel life threatening, call 911 or your local emergency number.

* To learn more about allergic reaction, see below. An allergic reaction is possible after using Soolantra. However, this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical studies.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after using Soolantra. A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible.

Possible symptoms of mild and serious allergic reactions are listed in the table below.

Mild allergic reaction symptoms Serious allergic reaction symptoms
flushing • swelling under your skin, possibly in your hands, feet, lips, or eyelids
rash • swelling in your throat or mouth
• itching trouble breathing

If you have an allergic reaction to Soolantra, call your doctor right away. This is important because the reaction could become severe.

However, if you’re having a medical emergency or your symptoms feel life threatening, call 911 or a local emergency number.

Soolantra: Questions you may have

Here are some common questions about Soolantra and brief answers to them. If you’d like to know more about these topics, ask your doctor.

Where can I read about before and after results with Soolantra?

Some people’s results after using Soolantra are available on the drug manufacturer’s website. It includes before and after pictures.

Consider taking your own picture before starting Soolantra. This way you can easily compare your skin’s appearance over time while using the treatment.

As with most medications, individual results can vary. Talk with your doctor about what to expect while using Soolantra cream.

Can I use Soolantra and a moisturizer or Soolantra and metronidazole together?

Yes. You may apply a moisturizer after Soolantra has completely dried. You may also apply other topical drugs, such as metronidazole (Metrogel), as prescribed by your doctor. Again, be sure to wait until Soolantra has fully dried.

Keep in mind that Soolantra contains moisturizing ingredients. So you may not need to use an additional moisturizer on the areas of your face treated with the drug.

When selecting a moisturizer or other skin care products, check the ingredients. You’ll want to avoid those that contain witch hazel, alcohol, peppermint, or menthol. These ingredients may irritate your skin.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about using other medications with Soolantra.

Do doctors prescribe Soolantra for acne?

Soolantra isn’t typically used to treat acne. Instead, the drug is used to treat rosacea. Rosacea is a skin condition that causes bumps and blemishes on the face, among other symptoms. The bumps and blemishes of rosacea may look similar to the symptoms of acne, but they are two different skin conditions.

If you have questions about treatment options for your skin, talk with a dermatologist or other healthcare professional.

Will my skin purge as a side effect of Soolantra?

Soolantra shouldn’t cause skin purging.

Skin purging occurs when the turnover rate of skin cells is increased. This leads to new or temporarily worsened symptoms such as flaking, peeling, or blemishes as the skin sheds dead skin cells. It’s a common, often temporary, side effect of certain topical medications, such as tretinoin (Altreno).

However, Soolantra does not contain tretinoin. Soolantra’s active ingredient is ivermectin. And symptoms of skin purging weren’t seen in people who used Soolantra in clinical studies. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about what to expect while using Soolantra.

Does Soolantra treat perioral dermatitis?

Doctors may prescribe Soolantra off-label for perioral dermatitis. (With perioral dermatitis, a rash may develop on the skin surrounding the mouth.) With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Limited evidence from a case report and a small clinical study suggests that Soolantra may help to ease symptoms of perioral dermatitis. However, the drug hasn’t been approved for this purpose.

If you have questions about treatment options for perioral dermatitis, talk with your doctor.

Soolantra: How to use

Your doctor will recommend how you should use Soolantra. It’s important to apply the drug exactly as your doctor instructs.

Soolantra is a medicated cream. It comes in a tube. You’ll apply it only to the areas of your face affected by rosacea.

Before using Soolantra, read the detailed instructions that come in the product’s packaging. You can also find instructions on the manufacturer’s website. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Wash your face with a mild non-soap cleanser using your fingers. Then gently blot your skin dry with a towel.
  2. Apply a pea-sized amount of Soolantra to each affected area of your face. This, for example, may be one pea-sized dab of cream on each cheek and another pea-sized dab on your chin.
  3. Use your fingers to spread the cream in an even layer over each affected area. Be careful to avoid your eyes and lips.
  4. Wash your hands after applying Soolantra. This will help prevent the drug from coming in contact with other body areas such as the eyes, lips, or vagina.

Wait until Soolantra has dried before applying anything else to your skin. This includes sunscreen, moisturizer, other topical medications, or makeup.

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about using Soolantra.

Questions about using Soolantra

Here’s a list of common questions related to using Soolantra.

  • When should I use Soolantra? Apply Soolantra once a day. Try these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses of Soolantra. You could also set an alarm, use a timer, or download a reminder app on your phone.
  • Should I use Soolantra in the morning or at night? There is no best time of day to use Soolantra. It doesn’t matter if you apply it in the morning or at night. Choose the time of day that is convenient for you. Applying it around the same time each day after you wash and dry your face may help you get into a consistent routine.

Soolantra: Dosage

Below, you’ll find dosages that are commonly recommended for Soolantra. However, you should apply the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll recommend the dosage that’s best for your skin.

Soolantra’s form

Soolantra comes as a cream. It’s available in three tube sizes:

  • 30 grams (g)
  • 45 g
  • 60 g

Soolantra’s strength: 1%

Soolantra comes in one strength: 1%.

Soolantra’s recommended dosage

Recommended dosage for Soolantra is described below.

Adult dosage

The recommended dosage for Soolantra in adults is as follows.

  • Dose:
    • apply a pea-sized amount of Soolantra cream to the affected areas of your face
  • Frequency:
    • once per day

Dosage considerations

Below are some things to consider about Soolantra’s dosage.

  • Missing a dose. If you miss applying Soolantra one day, just use it at your regular time the next day. Try these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm, use a timer, or download a reminder app on your phone.
  • Length of treatment. Doctors typically prescribe Soolantra as a long-term treatment. You’ll likely use it long term if you and your doctor feel it’s safe and effective for your condition.

Soolantra: Consuming alcohol during treatment

There aren’t any known interactions between alcohol and Soolantra.

However, alcohol may be a “trigger” for some people with rosacea, which Soolantra treats. This means that drinking alcohol may make their rosacea symptoms worse than usual.

If drinking alcohol seems to make your rosacea symptoms worse, you may want to avoid or limit alcohol consumption while using Soolantra. This will give the drug a better opportunity to work.

Talk with your doctor about other potential triggers to avoid or limit while using Soolantra.

Soolantra: Cost

As with other medications, prices for Soolantra may vary. The drug’s price will depend on factors such as:

Cost considerations for Soolantra

Here are some things to consider when looking into the cost of Soolantra.

Option for a 90-day supply. For some drugs, it’s possible to get a 90-day supply. If this option is approved by your insurance company, it can help lower the cost of the drug. It can also help you avoid frequent trips to your pharmacy. If you’d like to learn more about this option, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company.

Need for prior authorization. Before insurance coverage for Soolantra is approved, your insurance company may require prior authorization. In this case, your doctor and insurance company will communicate about your prescription for Soolantra. Then, the insurance company will decide if the drug will be covered. To find out if you need prior authorization for Soolantra, contact your insurance company.

Possible cost assistance options. Financial assistance to help lower the cost of Soolantra is available. The Galderma CareConnect program for Soolantra may help reduce its cost. To learn more and find out if you’re eligible for support, call 866-735-4137 or visit the manufacturer’s website. Also, check out this article to learn about ways to save on prescription drugs.

Use of a mail-order pharmacy. Soolantra may be dispensed through mail-order pharmacies. Getting your prescription through a mail-order pharmacy could lower its cost. It can also allow you to get the drug without leaving home. To find out more about this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance company.

Availability of a generic form. Soolantra comes in a generic form called ivermectin cream. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics are typically less expensive than brand-name drugs. If your doctor prescribes Soolantra, but you want to know about using ivermectin cream instead, talk with them about which option might be better for you. Also, check your insurance plan because it might only cover one form or the other.

Soolantra: Alternatives

Doctors may prescribe drugs other than Soolantra for your condition. Certain drugs may work better for you than others.

Soolantra is used to treat rosacea. Here’s a summary of other drugs that doctors sometimes prescribe for this condition.

To learn more about some alternatives to Soolantra, view the following articles:

For additional information about alternatives to Soolantra, ask your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that could be prescribed for your condition.

Soolantra: Interactions

Soolantra isn’t known to interact with other medications, supplements, or foods. However, this doesn’t mean interactions can’t occur with Soolantra.

Different interactions can cause different effects. Some interactions can interfere with a drug’s effectiveness. Others can increase a drug’s side effects or cause them to be severe.

Before you start Soolantra, be sure to tell your doctor about any medications, herbs, vitamins, or supplements you take. They can check for any possible interactions between these products and Soolantra.

Your doctor may also tell you to limit or avoid rosacea triggers. These are things that seem to make your rosacea symptoms worse. Rosacea triggers vary from person to person. Examples include cosmetics with certain ingredients, specific foods, or alcohol.

For information about drug-condition interactions, see the “Soolantra: Precautions” section below.

Soolantra: How it works

Doctors prescribe Soolantra to treat rosacea in adults. Specifically, it treats inflammatory lesions (bumps and blemishes) on the face caused by rosacea.

It isn’t known for sure what causes rosacea. Inflammation is involved, which is an immune system response that leads to swelling and irritation. Another contributing factor may be mites (microscopic insects) called Demodex folliculorum that live in hair follicles.

Since the exact cause of rosacea isn’t known, experts aren’t entirely sure how Soolantra works to treat it. Its active ingredient, ivermectin, is an antiparasitic drug. This means it kills parasites. It may also kill the mites thought to play a role in rosacea. Ivermectin may also have anti-inflammatory effects.

How long does Soolantra take to start working?

In clinical studies, some people using Soolantra reported clearer skin on their face within 2 weeks of starting treatment. Most of the study participants who used Soolantra had fewer inflammatory lesions (bumps and blemishes) on their face by the end of the 12-week study.

Soolantra: Using while pregnant

Doctors aren’t sure whether it’s safe to use Soolantra during pregnancy. Use of this cream hasn’t been studied during pregnancy.

Ivermectin, the active ingredient in Soolantra, was shown to cause harmful effects when given by mouth to pregnant animals. However, it isn’t known how this information relates to human pregnancy. Remember that Soolantra should not be taken by mouth.

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, talk with your doctor. They can recommend the best way to treat your rosacea during this time.

Soolantra and birth control needs

Talk with your doctor about your birth control needs with Soolantra if you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant. Your doctor can recommend if you should use birth control with this medication.

Soolantra: Using while breastfeeding

Doctors aren’t sure whether it’s safe to use Soolantra while breastfeeding.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor. They can help you decide on the best plan for treating your rosacea and feeding your child.

Soolantra: Precautions

Tell your doctor about your health history before starting treatment with Soolantra. Your doctor may not recommend this medication if you have certain factors affecting your health or specific medical conditions. These situations are known as drug-condition interactions.

These factors and conditions include those listed below.

  • Allergic reaction. Your doctor will likely not prescribe Soolantra if you’ve had an allergic reaction to it or any of its ingredients. To find out about other treatment options, talk with your doctor.
  • Pregnancy. If you’d like additional information about using Soolantra while pregnant, view the “Soolantra: Using while pregnant” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. If you’d like additional information about using Soolantra while breastfeeding, view the “Soolantra: Using while breastfeeding” section above.

To learn more about effects of Soolantra that could be harmful, see the “Soolantra: Side effects” section above.

Soolantra: Overdose

Serious effects can occur if you use more than the recommended dosage of Soolantra. Do not use more Soolantra than your doctor recommends.  

Symptoms of overdose

An overdose of ivermectin (the active ingredient in Soolantra) may cause:

  • rash
  • edema
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • problems with balance or coordination
  • seizure
  • trouble breathing
  • abdominal pain
  • numbness
  • hives

What to do in case of overdose

Call your doctor if you think you’ve used too much of this drug. Also, you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or a local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Soolantra: Expiration, storage, and disposal

Here’s some information about Soolantra’s expiration date, as well as how to store and dispose of the drug.

Expiration. Your pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on Soolantra’s packaging. This date is usually 1 year from the date the medication was dispensed to you. Expiration dates help ensure that a medication is effective during a period of time.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that you avoid taking expired drugs. If you have an unused medication and it’s past the drug’s expiration date, talk with your pharmacist. They can let you know whether you might still be able to use the medication.

Storage. Many factors determine how long a medication remains good to use. These factors include how and where you store the drug. Soolantra cream should be stored at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). It may be stored between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C) for short periods of time. Avoid storing it in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms. The medication should be kept away from light in a tightly sealed container.

Disposal. It’s important to safely dispose of Soolantra if you no longer need to use it and have unused medication. Doing so helps prevent others, including children and pets, from accidentally taking the drug. It also helps avoid causing harm to the environment.

Ask your pharmacist for information about disposing of Soolantra. Also, check out this page for several tips on safe medication disposal.

Soolantra: Questions for your doctor

If you have questions about Soolantra, talk with your doctor. They can help advise you on whether Soolantra could be a good treatment option for you.

Here’s a list of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Will I use Soolantra every day or only during flare-ups?
  • What is the best skin care routine to use along with Soolantra?
  • Should I avoid certain types of makeup while using Soolantra?

Your doctor may also tell you about other treatment options for your condition. You may find this article helpful in learning about alternative drugs.

Disclaimer: Healthgrades has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

Medical Reviewer: Melissa Badowski, PharmD, MPH, FCCP
Last Review Date: 2022 Aug 20
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.