Ivermectin; updated information shows this is not an effective treatment to prevent severe covid-19 illness.
Ivermectin is inexpensive and now in short supply, as doctors prescribe this drug used for heartworm in animals or acne rosacea in humans for off-label prophylactic covid-19 use. Some governments suggest they may not be able to get enough Ivermectin. Are people taking this as an unproven alternative to vaccination?
Vaccination which is accepted and recommended internationally and Ivermectin are mutually exclusive in their intent and risk level. True, vaccines have reduced the severity of disease but are not foolproof and they have a small risk level when compared to contracting covid-19. It is also true is that Ivermectin is not without risk and is not approved for the treatment of Covid-19 as the data supporting its widespread use is immature.
A video has circulated of why this drug which was at one time included in India’s Covid-19 kits that allowed most people to treat the disease successfully at home is so popular. The kit included several things included Ivermectin, Doxycycline, vitamin D3, Vitamin C, zinc as well as other items to help someone mitigate the disease while in isolation. Doxycycline and Ivermectin were removed from these kits this past June since they were not considered to be effective enough considering the small risk they pose. On the other hand, the kits which included home monitoring by a nurse who would call the patient periodically and take their blood oxygen readings using the included kit pulse oximeter over the phone was part of an effective strategy in low-cost management of the disease. These kits with everything included costing the state under $3 which is incredibly cheap.
One paper in the American Journal of Therapeutics in the article “Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Trial Sequential Analysis to Inform Clinical Guidelines” suggests this may be an effective treatment or part of an effective protocol of treatment based on their data.
Can Ivermectin prevent covid-19 effectively? A widely circulated video from Dr. John Cambell has been questioning why a cheap drug so widely available and low in risk may not be approved in Australia. While I am not telling others what to think, he does make a good case for why governments such as Australia are not trusting doctors to prescribe it and how social media may cause people to dose it improperly.
All prescription drugs can be harmful if taken in the incorrect dosage and ivermectin has grown a life of its own on social media. Dr. Cambell presents the info well and his conclusions are based on what he sees. Does this drug prevent covid-19 infection or reduce the need for hospitalization? Check out the video below and you decide. This video is about 20 minutes long and he does present his information and data appropriately in my opinion.
According to a reanalysis of a previous meta-analysis of a widely reported paper on Ivermectin, as quoted by Medpage today, “Andrew Hill, Ph.D., of the University of Liverpool in England, and colleagues included 12 studies with 2,628 participants and assessed them for bias. Overall, four studies had a low risk for bias, four studies had moderate risk, three studies were at high risk for bias, and one was potentially fraudulent.”
The takeaway here is that upon closer evaluation, data was simply made up in some of the studies analyzed. This is not only poor science but unethical. Currently, the use of ivermectin for covid-19 is not substantiated by any reliable studies or science. Brazilians learned the hard way.
Studies are now showing that Ivermectin on its own is ineffective at reducing hospitalization risk from covid-19 in a large study. The NY Times reported that Ivermectin showed no sign of alleviating the disease, according to results of a large clinical trial published on Wednesday. You can read more about this from the article here.
The study was done in Brazil and while this drug widely used to treat parasitic infections has been popularized on social media, podcasts and on youtube, The science shows that the drug does not prevent people from being hospitalized. Does it have an effect while being used in combination with other drugs or substances? If it was effective while used with other substances, was ivermectin the reason for the effectiveness? Based on this current information, the science likely supports the reason that India removed ivermectin and doxycycline from their covid home care kits a year ago.