Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug approved by Food and Drug Administration in treating variety of parasitic infections in human. Ivermectin works through many mechanisms of action that result in the death of the targeted parasites.
It can be taken by mouth or applied to the skin for external infestations. The drug belongs to the Avermectin family of medications.
The antiviral activity of Ivermectin has been shown against a wide range of RNA and DNA viruses, for example, dengue, Zika, yellow fever, and others.
Despite this in vitro activity, no clinical trials have reported a clinical benefit for Ivermectin in patients with these viruses. Some studies of Ivermectin have also reported potential anti-inflammatory properties, which have been postulated to be beneficial in people with COVID-19.
Can Ivermectin Be Used To Treat Covid?
Ivermectin is currently being investigated in a clinical trial as a potential COVID-19 treatment for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Virus, which is the virus that causes COVID-19.
The FDA has not approved ivermectin for use in treating or preventing COVID-19 infection in humans.
There is currently insufficient evidence from the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin in Covid-19 patients for the treatment of severe or mild COVID-19 symptoms.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend not to use ivermectin in patients with COVID-19 to reduce viral replication, except in clinical trials.
This recommendation is the result of a systematic review of randomised clinical trials that used ivermectin for COVID-19.
After analysing the information from these studies, they believe that there is a high degree of uncertainty on whether ivermectin is helpful or harmful in treating COVID-19.
The uncertainty in some of the ivermectin trials for COVID-19 is due to serious risk of bias and serious risk of imprecision.
There are far fewer randomized controlled trials (RCT) for ivermectin compared to other COVID-19 treatments. The RCT for ivermectin included multiple small trials, that had fewer patients enrolled and had fewer events recorded.
More RCT are needed with higher quality of evidence to determine if ivermectin is successful at treating COVID-19.
With all been said, Ivermectin as a drug cannot be used to treat Covid since it’s still on a clinical trial and has not been approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organisation (WHO) for such use.