A new study found that using Ivermectin early to treat Covid-19 can reduce numbers progressing to severe disease and significantly impact the pandemic globally.
The results of the study, titled Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection, was published in the American Journal of Therapeutics.
The study assessed the efficacy of Ivermectin treatment in reducing mortality among people with, or at high risk of, Covid-19 infection.
Ivermectin is a medication used to treat many types of parasite infestations. It is not a drug for treating viruses, and taking large doses is dangerous and can cause serious harm.
While Ivermectin has not been approved for treating Covid-19, it is showing promise to limit severe symptoms.
The study found evidence, with moderate-certainty evidence, 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 researchers said.
“The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.”
Earlier this month, the University of Oxford announced the launch of a large study in the United Kingdom to investigate Ivermectin as a possible treatment for Covid-19.
The university said Ivermectin has antiviral properties, and preliminary studies have shown it can reduce viral load, the amount of virus in the respiratory tract, and the length of symptoms in those with a mild infection.
It’s already been approved for use on compassionate grounds in a controlled-access program in South Africa, and health authorities have reported widespread use of the drug on the black market.
The World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency recommended that it only be used in clinical trials, as more data is needed to support its use.
The drug will be analysed as part of the Platform Randomized Trial of Treatments in the Community for Epidemic and Pandemic Illnesses, or Principle, the world’s largest clinical trial of potential treatments for the virus in non-hospital settings.
“By including Ivermectin in a large-scale trial like Principle, we hope to generate robust evidence to determine how effective the treatment is against Covid-19,” said Chris Butler, a professor of medicine at the University of Oxford.