Pill to Prevent Tick-Borne Disease?

WIRED’s staff writer, Emily Mullin (03.15.2024) published, “A Pill That Kills Ticks Is a Promising New Weapon Against Lyme Disease.” A pill is currently in development for humans by Tarsus Pharmaceuticals that could provide protection against the tick-borne disease for several weeks after ingestion. The company announced results from a small, early-stage trial in showing that ticks were killed on humans within 24 hours of taking the drug. And these tick-killing effects lasted up to 30 days. This experimental pill is a formulation of a drug that paralyzes and kills parasites, lotilaner, which is already approved as a veterinary medicine to control fleas and ticks in dogs and cats, under brand name Credelio. 

31 healthy adults participated in a Phase II trial, taking either a low or high dose of the pill, or a placebo. After 24 hours, sterile ticks were placed on participants’ arms and ticks deaths were reported after another 24 hours. Researchers also documented tick deaths 30 days after a single pill dose.  97% of ticks in the high-dose group and 92% in the low-dose group had died on day one. At day 30, both the high dose and low dose of pills resulted in 90% of ticks killed. No serious adverse events were reported, and side effects did not cause any participation drop off. Because the drug targets ticks rather than pathogens, it could protect people against multiple tick-borne diseases.

LDA Note: LDA presents this as an informational article only. It is not a recommendation for or against the preventative drug. See LDA vaccine menu for Lyme vaccine articles over 25 years.


For More Information: 

Read the WIRED Article

Read Tarsus News Release

Read LDA Article: Tarsus Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation of Phase 2a Trial of Lyme Disease Prevention Therapeutic

Read More LDA Articles on Tick-Bite Prevention