Vet drug Ivermectin gaining status as COVID treatment

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On June 23rd the well-known human and veterinarian drug Ivermectin was added to a major UK trial at Oxford University to be investigated as a possible treatment for COVID-19.


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“Because of the early promising results in some studies it (Ivermectin) is already being used to treat COVID-19 in several countries,” stated Professor Chris Butler, from the University’s Oxford Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, on June 23.

“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 and whether there are benefits or harms associated with its use,” he said.

“It’s a well-known medicine with a good safety profile.”

Ivermectin is used to treat many types of parasite infestations. In humans, this includes head lice and scabies; in veterinary medicine, it is used to prevent and treat heartworm and acariasis. It can be taken by mouth or applied to the skin for external infestations.

The Platform Randomized Trial of Treatments in the Community for Epidemic and Pandemic Illnesses (PRINCIPLE) encompasses 111 hospitals and 1400 GP practices, along with care homes and pharmacies throughout the UK.

On May 3, the American Journal of Therapeutics published the results of 27 controlled trials and 15 random, from throughout the world, that all focused on Ivermectin use in COVID patients since January 2021.

The research, accepted for peer-reviewed publication, was conducted by the team of independent and leading doctors and scientists on the American Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance.


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In a press release the group stated that, “we applied the gold standard to qualify the data review before concluding that Ivermectin can end this pandemic.”

They had conducted analysis of peer-reviewed manuscripts, plus the analysis of regions with excellent Ivermectin distribution.

The study found “large statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to recovery and viral clearances in COVID-19 patients treated with Ivermectin.”

They also detailed the same results in three controlled and five observed trials involving 2,500 patients.

As of early May, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Mexico and India “have approved the drug to treat COVID,” they stated.

Dr Paul E Margiel, Chief Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, who leads the group who did the data research stated, “when the totality of the evidence is examined there is no doubt that Ivermectin is highly effective as a safe prophylaxis treatment for COVID-19.”

The most recent published Ivermectin trial on COVID patients was in The Lancet on July 1, but available for viewing online several days earlier.

This study stated that Ivermectin was a safe drug to experiment with since there were 900 million tablets distributed worldwide in 2019, for various human treatments, prior to COVID.

It also noted that ongoing studies using Ivermectin had found, “significant reductions in SARS – COV 2 viral load” as compared to untreated controls.


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Conducted in four hospitals in Argentina, there were 45 patients – 30 with Ivermectin and 15 without – between 18 and 69 years of age, who were hospitalized with COVID.

The study took place between May 18 and September 9, 2020 and those receiving Ivermectin were administered 6 mg / kg / day for five days.

No one died in the trial, either from the Ivermectin or control group.

The small sample size, “lacks power to determine differences in clinical outcomes,” it stated.

The trial found “no difference in viral load reductions between groups, but a significant difference was found in patients with higher median plasma WM levels.”

Mean Ivermectin plasma levels “correlated with viral decay rate.”

In North America, both Health Canada and the FDA have warned people against self-medicating with Ivermectin for a COVID prevention or cure. Neither country approved it for use in its population to treat COVID, even though nearby Mexico did.

In an early March posting by the FDA it stated that a number of people were being treated due to self-medicating with Ivermectin intended for horses.

The FDA posting stated that Ivermectin was not approved for COVID treatment, large doses could cause harm, and that consumers needed to get a legitimate prescription. It also stated that Ivermectin manufactured for animals was at a higher concentration than that manufactured for human use.

The writer is a freelance farm journalist at Williamstown 

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