Is Ivermectin Really Effective Against COVID-19?
The situation with ivermectin is resembling, in view of the new evidence, what happened with chloroquine and colchicine. Repurposed drugs that are used to treat other pathologies, but given the urgency of the epidemic, are being used without evidence of efficacy due to the short time available to develop new antiviral drugs.
It is worth remembering that interest in ivermectin began in April 2020 following a preliminary study by Australian scientist Kylie Wagstaff. Despite the fact that it was an in-vitro study, weeks later Bangladeshi doctors claimed to have managed to cure their patients with a combination of antibiotics and ivermectin. From there it spread to the world, although with much more roots in Latin America. Ivermectin, as is known, is an effective antiparasitic against external parasites such as mites, scabies, lice, roundworms, as well as Strongyloides stercoralis.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we wrote that IVERMECTIN is a fairly safe drug at the known dose but does not reach antiviral levels in blood or lung parenchyma. That is why we urgently needed clinical studies that would properly assess the usefulness of ivermectin in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and end the “madness” of skipping all steps of scientific research.
In recent days, we have evidence that shows a tendency to advise against its use, citing the following sources:
1. March 26, 2021: A year later, in the middle of the second wave and after several indications that do not support its use for the prevention and treatment of the new coronavirus, the Minister of Health, Óscar Ugarte, announced that Peru will not continue to promote the use of this antiparasitic.
2. At the beginning of last week, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), based in Amsterdam, advised against its use through a document published on its website.
3. March 4, 2021: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published the largest EPIC clinical trial on ivermectin to date. Research at the Center for Pediatric Infectology Studies in Cali, Colombia. The findings of this new study also discourage its use. Mainly because mild patients who had taken ivermectin did not present a significant improvement in symptoms compared to those who had taken placebo
4. The FDA also in March has received multiple reports of patients requiring medical support and being hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin for horses. Ivermectin preparations for animals are very different from those approved for humans. Even ivermectin levels for approved uses can interact with other medications, such as blood thinners. You may also overdose on ivermectin, which can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (balance problems), seizures, coma and even death.
5. Pulmonologist Frederico Fernandes, president of the São Paulo Society of Pulmonology and Tisiology (SPPT), said on Twitter that he evaluated a young patient who is about to need a liver transplant. According to Fernandes, he had mild Covid-19 and self-medicated with 18 mg of ivermectin a day for a week.
6. On march 31, Dr. Janet Díaz, head of the clinical team in charge of the response against Covid-19 at the WHO, announced that the WHO issued guidelines saying ivermectin should only be used on Covid-19 patients in clinical trial settings.
Publications with larger volumes of patients will be available in the near future, to definitively conclude the definite role that this antiparasitic drug has redirected to the treatment of the coronavirus.
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