Ivermectin continues to fly off the shelves. COVID-19 pandemic. " Some doctors administered the anti-drugarasitic in infected patients and have found apparently positive effects. However, other studies show little to no effect when it comes to treating COVID-19.
In recent months there has been a dramatic increase in calls to poison centers in Mississippi , Oklahoma and Alabama by people taking ivermectin intended for animals. Meanwhile, the the "emergency rooms are getting over patients who consumed a version of the drug designed as a horse dewormer. The drug remained in the headlines after the podcaster Joe " Rogan saying he used it after testing positive for COVID .
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On the one hand, there are some doctors who have said ivermectin could help alleviate the pandemic if used globally. On the other hand, public health officials who have looked at the data and say the drug's effectiveness against COVID-19 is inconclusive.
Here's what you should know about ivermectin and its use for COVID-19.
What is ivermectin?
Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug "which works by modifying cell channels " said Dr Soumi Eachempati, CEO of Cleared4 and former professor of surgery and public health at Weill Cornell Medical College. The medicine prevents certain viruses from infecting cells, thus preventing the virus from spreading. Ivermectin is typically given to treat parasitic infections caused by lice and Strongyloides, according to Eachempati.
Scientists at pharmaceutical giant Merck discovered ivermectin in 1975 and began using it to treat scabies, river blindness and other parasitic diseases transmitted by worms and lice from 1981. It 's on the List "essential drugs from the World Health Organization for a basic health system. More "than 250 million people take the drug around the world each year, and it is also effectivee for animals. The researcher who developed ivermectin received the Nobel Prize for their work in 2015 .
The drug is considered safe when taken in appropriate doses. Side effects of ivermectin vary depending on whether it is taken orally to treat intestinal infections or topically for skin infections. Oral tablets may cause drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and, in very rare cases, increased heart rate and Side effects of topical ivermectin can include rashes and irritation, while dry skin and Stinging pains are severe and rare.
Can Ivermectin be used to treat COVID-19?
This is where things get tricky. Agencies public health, including the Federal Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and World Health Organization, do not suggest the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19. They cite the lack of data. from large-scale randomized trials confirming the drug's effectiveness in treating the disease.
Some doctors who cite several smaller studies and first-hand experience say otherwise. They claim that ivermectin works to prevent people from developing symptoms of COVID-19 and may shorten recovery time for people who are already infected.
What are public health agencies saying about ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment?
The discussion is not new. The FDA said in March that it "did not not approved the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 .He also advised against human use of ivermectin produced for animals, such as cows and horses, as the doses are not the same and may contain ingredients intended only for animals.
However, the delta variant created another pandemic wave this summer, a An increasing number of people have started taking ivermectin for animals as word spread on social media about the use possible COVID-19 drug. Apparently they were unable or unwilling to obtain preions for humans.
The use of ivermectin in livestock has leads some people to to call "state poison centers after taking the medicine and feeling effectss negative and sometimes disturbing secondary. On August 20, the Mississippi State Department of Health sent out an alert regarding the number of calls received by its poison control center, 70% of which were related to the " ingestion " of livestock or animal formulations of ivermectin purchased from livestock supply centers . "
On August 21, the FDA tried a different approach to get people's attention, tweeting : " "You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, all of you. Stop .
In April, the FDA reaffirmed in a post on its website that ivermectin is not approved to treat COVID-19 and it does. has not been administered authorization "to use urgence .
The NIH said in February that there was insufficient " data to "recommend for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19. " He said laboratory tests revealed that the drug has stopped the reproduction of the disease-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, to be effective, dosages should be "100 times higher than those approved for use in humans.
While some clinical studies have shown that ivermectin has no benefit, the NIH said that other studies have found a lower death rate in patients. However, these studies were incomplete or showed signs of failure. methodological limitations such as small sample sizes or patients receiving additional drugs with ivermectin, according to the NIH.
The WHO " said in March that current evidence for ivermectin use for the treatment of VOC ID-19 was "inconclusive.
The American Medical Association (AMA), the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) claim " strongly oppose the ordering, preion or distribution of ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial . "
A Arkansas doctor who prescribed the drug to patients is under investigation by the state medical board, according to a CNN report He allegedly gave ivermectin preions to inmates in the county jail where he was hired for provide medical services.
Who saysivermectin is a treatment, and what information does it have?
The potential use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 therapy made headway in December at a meeting of the US Senate Homeland Security Committee called Focus on Early Treatment of COVID-19. Dr Pierre Ko ry, a specialist in pulmonary and critical care, testified on the use of the drug for the treatment of the disease.
"Ivermectin is highly safe, widely available and at low cost, Kory "said at the Senate meeting . " We now have data from over 20 well-designed clinical studies, including 10 randomized controlled trials, with each study consistently reporting important and statistically significant advantages in terms of reduced transmission rates, shorter recovery times, reducedion hospitalizations or significant reductions in deaths. These data show that ivermectin is indeed a 'wonder drug ' against COVID-19. "
During his testimony, Kory referred to an article he is the 'author: Review of emerging evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of the Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19 - which was published in the May edition of the American Journal of Therapeutics.
The article has also been included in the Journal "Frontiers of Pharmacology in January, but was subsequently deleted " in March . Dr Frederick Fenter, editor of the journal, said the article was withdrawn due to "strong and unsubstantiated allegations based ones on studies with insufficient statistical significance, and sometimes without the use of control groups. Fender also said the authors have promoted their own specific treatment with ivermectin, which flies in the face of editorial policies.
The studies listed in Kory's article tend to involve a small number of participants and have questionable methodology. For example, a study of 234 uninfected health workers in Argentina found Those who received the drug were much less likely to be diagnosed with COVID. A Buzzfeed News report could not find confirmations " that this test even took place because the hospital in which it was conducted claims its health caregivers were not included in a test.
A study in Iraq found a recovery time " faster with the use of ivermectin, but the test was performed on only 70 patients. In a small randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Israel with a group of 89 patients, those taking ivermectin saw viral loads below those who did not receive the drug.
There are also studies that show the opposite. A clinical trial of 476 patients found that the 'Ivermectin did not improve recovery time in patients with COVID-19. A review "of 10 randomized clinical trials , with over 1000 participants, did notalso not found any improvement with ivermectin. An "Egyptian study claimed to show positive results, but since redacted for ethical reasons . Another study, "involving 1,500 patients , found that ivermectin had " no effect. "
One thing to note is that many of these studies from both sides have yet to be peer reviewed.
Merck, the company that created Ivermectin, released " a statement in February saying there was "no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19 from preclinical studies " and "no evidence significant clinical activity or clinical efficacy cy in patients withCOVID-19 disease. "He also cited a lack of safety data from major studies.
Why is there controversy over ivermectin?
The debate over ivermectin use of to treat COVID-19 has moved from hospital to social media, exacerbating the rhetoric as well as vitriol. While those who support the drug seem to want to As the pandemic ended, their arguments in favor of ivermectin became fodder for anti-vaccine campaigners and conspiracy theorists.
Groups that have been spreading misinformation about COVID-19 all throughout the pandemic clung to ivermectin use following Kory's Senate testimony Anti-vaccine groups on social media Telegram messaging and multimedia app shares misinformation about vaccine while asking where to buy the drug. Rumble, an alternative video platform to YouTube, contains pagesvideos falsely claiming that vaccines are ineffective while advising people to also take ivermectin.
Anti-vaccine posts and videos can also be found on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, though companies are trying to remove these posts or to make them harder to find.
Kory was the guest of Dark "Horse Podcast hosted by Bret Weinstein, a former prprofessor at Evergreen State College on June 1 to talk about ivermectin. This video was eventually demonetized on YouTube, and Weinstein's channel received a strike, which prevented him from posting co-posts for a week and could result in its deletion if he receives two more strikes within 90 days.
YouTube says its actions on Weinstein's videos were part of its policies.
"While we welcome open discussions of potential treatments and clinical trials related to COVID-19 on YouTube, based on guidance from the CDC, FDA and other authorities health facilities, we currently do not allow any content that recommends ivermectin as an effective method of treating or preventing the virus, "said Ivy Choi, spokesperson for YouTube. "We are developing our policies to prevent the risk of damage flagrants in the real world, and update them as official guidelines evolve. We allow exceptions to our ivermectin policy , including content which also gives viewers the full context of the Position "current FDA .
Due to YouTube's decision, the ivermectin controversy has grown and has become linked to what some claim is "big censorship" technological.
Joe Rogan, comedian, mixed martial arts commentator and podcaster, said on Instagram that he " tested positive for COVID-19 and threw out "all kinds of drugs "to the disease, including ivermectin. Rogan "was criticized in the passed for spreading misinformation about COVID-19 . He has since confirmed that he has recovered from COVID.
What is it Who is required for ivermectin to be approved for the treatment of COVID-19?
For public health agencies, it will come down to the results of large clinical studies conducted around the world.
"In UK it has been announced that Ivermectin will be added to Principle " Trial , a large clinical study designed to evaluate potential COVID therapies for outpatient therapies for patients at higher risk of serious illness, "said the Dr David Shafran, Director of Pediatrics at the application "K Health telehealth . "This should more definitively demonstrate the efficacy of ivermectin in early stage COVID infections. Let's keep our fingers crossed because it is a cheap drug with a good safety profile. That would be great. to add this to the arsenal of drugs to fight COVID. "
The University of Oxford's principle trial seeks to work with over 5,000 participants and to give a three "day treatment with ivermectin by oral to random individuals and compare their results to those receiving standard care.
In the United States, the NIH is evaluating therapies for COVID-19 with its Accelerating "COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) master protocol. Ivermectin "has been added in phase three of ACTIV-6 , which will test the effectiveness of reused drugs.
" The ACTIV prioritization group, trial team, and trial oversight groups are continually monitoring new data on any agent that we study in our trials and evaluating that data to determine how it might influence our testing of this. officer and the safety / welfare of trial participants, "said Dr. Sarah Dunsmore, program director at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences which is part of the NIH.
This which is not clear is how long the whole process will take. The studies need time to be completed, then the agencies will need more time to draw conclusions based on the findings. data.