Over the past year, we have gone through the COVID-19 pandemic. For just as long, scientists around the world have worked to find preventive, curative and management steps for the novel viral disease, including medicines and devices that would aid us in achieving a healthier, COVID-free world.
Due to the impact that the Coronavirus has had on our lives and how fast-paced the world is, different treatment protocols have been explored- involving new medicines and several previously known medications, including Ivermectin.
What Exactly Is Ivermectin?
Ivermectin is a medication used to treat parasitic infections such as scabies, river blindness (onchocerciasis) and lymphatic filariasis. It was discovered in 1975 and received the 2015 Nobel Prize for Medicine for its impact on areas around the world endemic in those diseases.
Ivermectin is relatively affordable, readily available and has been recorded as having a good safety profile with minimal side/ adverse effects when used.
Why Ivermectin For COVID-19?
Although the mechanism of action is not fully understood yet, the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) discovered that ivermectin has potent anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects against COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2.
They realized this based on the available evidence of its effectiveness shown by various research carried out by many scientists all over the world.
What Does Ivermectin Do For COVID-19?
With the ever-growing availability of resources and research information, there are several effects that have been discovered. We must bear in mind, however, that these trials have only gone on for less than one year, and do not give conclusive evidence yet.
Based on the compilation by the FLCCC and a response study done in Lagos, here is what we know about the effect of ivermectin on COVID-19:
- In some cities where the government authorities carried out ‘Ivermectin distribution’ campaigns ( giving Ivermectin across the community) such as in South American countries like Brazil and Peru, there seemed to be a decrease in the COVID-19 infection rates and deaths in those areas.
- In research, it was shown that a once-monthly intake of ivermectin for 4 months showed reduced transmission in people exposed to COVID-19 patients.
- In 6 studies that had over 3,000 patients with mild out-patient COVID-19, overall they showed:
- Reduced time of recovery in patients with ivermectin (Hashim et al., 2020)
- Reduced number of cases that required hospitalization (Cadegian et al., 2020)
- Conflicting results on the reduction of symptoms in patients who were treated with a combination of ivermectin/ doxycycline when compared with hydroxychloroquine/ doxycycline (Chowdhury et al., 2020)
- In hospitalized patients with COVID-19, there seemed to be reduced worsening of the disease and fewer deaths when compared with hydroxychloroquine (Elgazaar et al., 2020)
‘ In the context of Ivermectin’s long-standing safety record, low cost, and wide availability along with the consistent, reproducible, large magnitude findings on transmission rates, need for hospitalization, mortality, and population-wide control of COVID-19 case and fatality rates in areas with widespread ivermectin distribution, insisting on the remaining studies to pass peer review prior to widespread adoption appears to be imprudent and to deviate from the now established standard approach towards adoption of new therapeutics during the pandemic. ’Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC)
Ivermectin For COVID-19 | In Conclusion
Overall, with available data, Ivermectin has shown more positive results than negative.
However, the use of ivermectin must be prescribed and monitored by a licensed healthcare professional based on the benefit-risk analysis.
Do not take Ivermectin without a proper prescription.