After the argument over the effectiveness of drugs for coronavirus cure, recent reports reveal that the anti-parasite drug Ivermectin may help COVID-19 patients. It is currently under study and migh pan out better compared to other drugs once approved.

What is ivermectin and will it work?

For starters, Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic, not an anti-viral that is given by doctors for pinworms and nematode infections, and sometimes head lice, another name for it is Stromectol. In the lab, using animal tissue has shown it can lessen viral colonies of COVID-19 by 5,000 times with a single treatment using infected cell culture in the lab.

One condition to take note of is that the cell culture is not human DNA, this same reaction is nearly as anecdotal as chloroquine. Plus, both Ivermectin and chloroquine are not yet approved coronavirus cures but given for humanitarian reasons mostly or limited study only.

How does ivermectin work on parasites?

The drug works mostly on parasites by binding onto their muscle and nerve cells. In the process, this results in paralysis and death of the parasite. This is according to medical author Omudhome Ogbru, Pharm.D. from MedicineNet.

A study that was published in Antiviral Research which reveals that ivermectin will lessen infection caused by RNA viruses that includes West Nile virus and influenza.

Ivermectin is specific to parasites, not viruses, examples of these parasites are multicellular roundworms, classified within the animal kingdom as nematodes. There is a vast difference between viruses and nematodes.

Also read: New Coronavirus Possible Cure May Target Human Cells, Not the Virus

One of the biggest differences is that viruses are packets of RNA and DNA surrounded by proteins that try to hijack the host cell's cellular engines. Viruses do not have cells, without nerve cells or muscle cells will be the target. That leaves the question if ivermectin will be effective.

Based on anecdotal evidence, those supporting ivermectin say it may attack a specific protein to work on RNA viruses, that is why it may be successful with the coronavirus as the flu, or the West Nile.

Now, the only problem is that whether researchers can find that specific protein, and start proving ivermectin does work or be back to square one.

Should there be anecdotal evidence as a re-purposed drug and not something specifically engineered to thwart COVID-19 infections, then results will outweigh anecdotal evidence. This is already approved by the World Health Organization since 1996 for human use. It also comes with an FDA approval.

The drug ivermectin is approved for other illnesses but not for COVID-19. It is dangerous for a pregnant woman to take too.

Related article: Chloroquine vs. Hydroxychloroquine: What is a Better Drug for Coronavirus Cure?