Macrocyclic Lactones

Macrocyclic lactones (ivermectin, abamectin, moxidectin, doramectin, and milbemycin) are anthelmintic parasiticides which are widely used world-wide to treat livestock.

Macrocyclic lactones are natural fermentation products of the fungus-like Streptomyces bacteria. They are administered to grazing livestock as oral drenches or as topical and injectable formulations, mainly to control gastrointestinal nematode parasites but also to help control several external parasites including buffalo fly, cattle tick and lice. An intra-ruminal bolus formulation is also available for sheep.

Macrocyclic lactones review

Status: review completed

The APVMA began the review of macrocyclic lactones because of concerns over possible unintended side effects of these chemicals on dung beetle populations and hence dung degradation rates.

In May 1998 the APVMA released the Macrocyclic Lactones Review Final Report (PDF, 272kb). In the report the APVMA found that there was no clear evidence of any long-term damage to dung beetle populations. But the APVMA also found there was not enough information to confirm that products were ‘dung beetle safe’ and recommended that these claims should be removed from any product labels. Read a full history of the review.

Review Report Date
Macrocyclic Lactones Review Final Report (PDF, 272kb) May 1998


For more information contact:

Chemical Review

Phone: +61 2 6210 4749

Fax: +61 2 6210 4776


Product Search

Search the PUBCRIS database for registered products that contain macrocyclic lactones.

APVMA macrocyclic lactones archive

Title Date
Gazette Notice* Jun 1998

* Contact the APVMA for copies of this document.

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