APR 03, 2022 8:49 AM PDT

Another Study Shows Ivermectin Does Not Treat COVID-19

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

A recent, large study has determined that ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, does not effectively reduce the risk of hospitalization during COVID-19, a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The findings have been reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (teal) infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (purple), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID

This research followed the outcomes of over 3,500 people in Brazil who tested positive for COVID-19, and had at least one risk factor for severe disease. No one in the trial had been ill for more than seven days. In this study, several therapeutics were being tested; 679 patients received a placebo, while 2,157 received a treatment of some kind. There was also a group of 679 patients that received ivermectin, which is an anti-parastic drug typically prescribed by veterinarians. Ivermectin has been used for years to eliminate parasitic worms from animals. There are human formulations of ivermectin but they are usually only prescribed to treat roundworm infections. The drug works by interfering with chloride channels on helminthic parasites.

Patients that received ivermectin in this trial initially got one-day doses, then the researchers opted for a three day dose based on feedback from advocates. Ivermectin has been "widely promoted" as a COVID-19 treatment in Brazil (without evidence), the study authors noted.

This research study was a double-blind, randomized trial. It confirmed previous studies reported earlier this year by other research groups; Ivermectin should not be used as a treatment for COVID-19. The drug did not lessen a patient's chances of needing to go to the hospital, and it did not shorten their stay if an individual was admitted to the hospital.

A handful of very small studies that have reported success against COVID-19 by using ivermectin have been flagged by other researchers for poor study design and unreliable conclusions. Some other reports have been retracted completely. Unfortunately, many people have still sought to use the drug. Some have resorted to taking the version that is made for animals.

The Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly warned people not to use ivermectin for animals to fight COVID-19. The drug has side effects, and can cause vomiting, abdominal pain or nausea, neurologic disorders and sometimes, severe hepatitis that requires hospitalization.

Sources: New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA Internal Medicine, JAMA

About the Author
BS
Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JAN 20, 2022
Cardiology
New Imaging Study Shows How COVID Damages the Heart
JAN 20, 2022
New Imaging Study Shows How COVID Damages the Heart
New research has shown changes to heart muscle tissue in patients who died of COVID-19.
FEB 18, 2022
Health & Medicine
COVID-19 Infection Increases Heart Disease Risk Months Later
FEB 18, 2022
COVID-19 Infection Increases Heart Disease Risk Months Later
It's no coincidence that some people have strokes after COVID-19 infection. But, according to a recent study in Natu ...
FEB 22, 2022
Cardiology
Beta-blockers as a Potential Treatment for COVID-19
FEB 22, 2022
Beta-blockers as a Potential Treatment for COVID-19
Beta-blockers are usually used to treat heart conditions and blood pressure, but they may also be useful for COVID-19.
MAY 19, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Repurposed Antibiotic Shows Promise Against COVID-19 in Mice
MAY 19, 2022
Repurposed Antibiotic Shows Promise Against COVID-19 in Mice
An antibiotic known as clofoctol has shown promise in treating SARS-CoV-2 in mice. The corresponding study was published ...
MAY 23, 2022
Coronavirus
The Genetics Underlying Susceptibility to Severe COVID-19
MAY 23, 2022
The Genetics Underlying Susceptibility to Severe COVID-19
Since the onset of the pandemic, researchers and clinicians have been trying to determine why COVID-19 is more severe in ...
SEP 17, 2022
Neuroscience
COVID-19 Leading Cause of Death for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
SEP 17, 2022
COVID-19 Leading Cause of Death for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
COVID-19 was the leading cause of death among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in 2020. The ...
Loading Comments...