Recent reviews and data from peer-reviewed studies, expert meta-analyses, and epidemiological analyses have shown promising results for Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug with proven antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. As of December 2020, a large number of evidence-based data has demonstrated the efficacy and safety of using Ivermectin in preventing and treating COVID-19.
A number of preclinical studies of Ivermectin against SARS-CoV-2 as an antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent have been successful in demonstrating its efficacy. Various studies have shown that Ivermectin inhibits the replication of a number of RNA viruses like Zika, HIV, Dengue, and SARS-CoV-2, due to its antiviral properties. Various mechanisms have been proposed for its antiviral abilities, such as its ability to bind to the spike protein of the virus and preventing cellular entry of the virus, or by preventing and inhibiting viral replication.
An overwhelming inflammatory response is associated with severe COVID-19. A number of studies also demonstrate the anti-inflammatory properties of Ivermectin. This is due to its ability to inhibit the production of cytokines and the transcription of nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB), which are potent mediators of inflammation.
Various randomised controlled trials and observational controlled trials around the world are showing a significant decrease in COVID-19 transmission when participants are treated with Ivermectin. One such study was conducted at the Zagazig university in Egypt. Patients were treated with ivermectin on the day of receiving a positive COVID-19 test and 72 hours after getting tested. A significant decrease in COVID-19 symptoms were seen following a two weeks period. Data published in The International Journal of Antimicrobial Agent compared data from countries where Ivermectin was actively used found that COVID-19 case counts were significantly lower in these countries.
From the analyses of eight available clinical trials, it was concluded that there was a statistically significant reduction of viral transmission when Ivermectin was used as prophylactic treatment for COVID-19.
19 other clinical trials have shown significant impact with respect to recovery, reductions in length of hospital stay, reductions in viral load, and reductions in mortality when Ivermectin was used for the treatment of COVID-19. When it comes to adverse effects, most of them were mild and transient.
Taking all these results into consideration, recently, the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development Panel along with Unitaid/WHO has strongly recommended the use of Ivermectin for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19
Kory P, Meduri GU, Varon J, Iglesias J, Marik PE. Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19. Am J Ther. 2021;28(3):e299-e318. Published 2021 Apr 22. doi:10.1097/MJT.0000000000001377
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