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Tags: ivermectin | covid-19

Double-Blind Study Shows Ivermectin Ineffective Against COVID-19

Double-Blind Study Shows Ivermectin Ineffective Against COVID-19
A health worker shows a box containing a bottle of Ivermectin. (Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 March 2022 07:22 PM EDT

A large clinical trial published Wednesday shows that the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin – which surged in popularity as an alternative treatment for COVID-19 – is not effective in combatting the virus.

In a double-blind study, where neither the patients nor the medical staff knew if they received Ivermectin or a placebo, researchers compared more than 1,300 people in Brazil infected with COVID and ruled out the drug as a treatment based on the results.

"There's really no sign of any benefit," Dr. David Boulware, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Minnesota, told The New York Times.

A summary of the results was shared during an online presentation hosted by the National Institutes of Health in August, however, the full data set was not published until recently in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Ivermectin has been used to treat parasitic infections for decades and laboratory experiments early in the pandemic suggested that the old drug could potentially block the novel coronavirus.

While disbelievers noted, at the time, that the concentrations of the drug used in the experiments exceeded safe levels for humans, some doctors began prescribing Ivermectin regardless, despite the Food and Drug Administration's warning that it was not approved for such use.

Researchers around the world conducted small clinical trials to see if the drug treated the disease, the Times reported.

Dr. Andrew Hill, a virologist at the University of Liverpool in England, analyzed the results of 23 trials in December 2020 and determined that Ivermectin seemed to substantially lower the risk of death from COVID-19.

In a presentation he gave then, Hill said that if larger trials confirmed his findings, "this really is going to be a transformative treatment."

According to the Times, shortly after Hill published his review last summer, it was alleged that several of the studies he had used were flawed or fraudulent.  

Hill subsequently retracted his original study and began a new one, which was published in January.

On second review, Hill's research group concentrated on the studies that were least likely to be biased, and, in that more stringent review, the benefit of Ivermectin disappeared.

With a few hundred volunteers at most, even the best studies analyzing Ivermectin and COVID-19 were small, and small studies can be susceptible to statistical coincidences suggesting a positive effect.  

"Now that people can dive into the details and the data, hopefully that will steer the majority of doctors away from Ivermectin towards other therapies," Boulware told the Times.

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A large clinical trial published Wednesday shows that the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin - which surged in popularity as an alternative treatment for COVID-19 - is not effective in combatting the virus.
ivermectin, covid-19
414
2022-22-30
Wednesday, 30 March 2022 07:22 PM
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