Data Supports Use of Anti-Parasitic Drug Ivermectin in COVID-19 Patients, Study Shows
Use of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin could reduce COVID-19-related deaths, data from a peer-reviewed study shows.
The study, published last week in the American Journal of Therapeutics, analyzed data from multiple clinical studies assessing ivermectin as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Ivermectin, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, which are two conditions caused by parasitic worms, has anti-inflammatory properties. Ivermectin has also been approved as a topical treatment for head lice. The scientific team wanted to determine the impact this drug would have against COVID-19, particularly in reducing infection and mortality. And, from what the research suggests, the team is confident in the efficacy of ivermectin against COVID-19.
First reported by The Epoch Times, the data showed ivermectin reduced the risk of death in mild-to-moderate patients by an average of 62%. The study data further suggests that risk of death was found to be 2.3% among hospitalized patients treated with ivermectin, compared to 7.8% for those who were not. The team did note that there may be no benefit for patients who are in need of mechanical ventilation.
“Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally,” the study authors concluded.
As BioSpace has previously reported, researchers in Australia showed in a laboratory setting that treatment with ivermectin inhibited the COVID-19 virus within 24 to 48 hours of treatment. The preclinical data showed that ivermectin prevented the virus’ RNA from replicating. That particular test showed that ivermectin targets the SARS-CoV-2 virus like a parasite.
The latest assessment of those multiple studies seems to confirm the potential of ivermectin against COVID-19. However, the FDA currently maintains a web page warning against the unauthorized use of ivermectin to treat the virus. The FDA said it has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical support and been hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin that had been approved for use as an anti-parasitic drug in animals. The FDA said it’s important to note that the products approved for animal use are different than those approved for use in humans.
The FDA notes that clinical studies are underway assessing ivermectin against COVID-19, but until those are reviewed and confirmed, it will warn against taking unauthorized medication.
“The FDA’s job is to carefully evaluate the scientific data on a drug to be sure that it is both safe and effective for a particular use, and then to decide whether or not to approve it. Using any treatment for COVID-19 that’s not approved or authorized by the FDA, unless part of a clinical trial, can cause serious harm,” the FDA said on its website.