Because of a lack of evidence showing its benefits, the World Health Organization has joined a growing list of health entities warning against the use of the generic anti-parasite medication Ivermectin in patients with COVID-19 and clinical trials.
WHO warned people against using Ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) both cautioned against using ivermectin to treat COVID-19. Merck, a pharmaceutical firm that makes ivermectin, has already stated that its review of the drug's safety and effectiveness for COVID-19 was unsuccessful. The WHO advisory is "based on very low confidence of evidence" that ivermectin benefits patients with COVID-19 of any disease severity, according to Janet Diaz, a top WHO official for clinical care response.
The WHO's analysis was based on a study of 16 ivermectin trials involving 2,400 patients, including those that compared it to hydroxychloroquine, an older malaria drug that has been debunked as a COVID-19 remedy. Ivermectin has only a few placebo-controlled studies, as per Vanguard.
More data is required to make informed decisions, according to Bram Rochwerg, an associate professor at McMaster University in Canada and a co-chair of the WHO panel that reviewed ivermectin. He recognized that the evidence was small and possibly dependent on chance, but that "high quality, trustworthy trials" were also required.
He said there are 66 ivermectin trials reported worldwide, with 60,000 participants, but more research on the drug's effect on the pandemic was on the way. According to researchers, ivermectin is an FDA-approved broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent with antiviral activity against a wide variety of viruses, including COVID-19.
It is believed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 deaths. Despite the lack of support for its use as a vaccine, some countries have been using ivermectin to combat the coronavirus. The state of Lagos approved a clinical trial of the drug in February to see how successful it is against COVID-19.
South African doctors use Ivermectin to treat COVID-19
As Pumza Fihlani reports, the drug Ivermectin, which has been touted by some as an effective COVID-19 treatment despite being scientifically unproven, is at the center of a legal dispute in the South Africa, where some doctors want it approved for human use. Many South Africans are desperate for something that will lessen the effects of the third wave of coronavirus infections, which is expected in the near future.
With a vaccine campaign that has not yet reached many of the continent's most needy, there are fears that the continent's worst-affected country will suffer even more as the weather cools and winter approaches. More than 52,000 people have died as a result of coronavirus, and while new outbreaks are now rare, they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
Ivermectin - a medication used to cure parasitic worms - has received a lot of attention in this sense. Some doctors have been recommending it to coronavirus patients, citing observational reports that it can help relieve some of COVID-19's worst effects. However, the drug's manufacturer, as well as some of the country's most eminent scientists, have all cautioned against using it to treat coronavirus, BBC reported.
WHO: Do not use Ivermectin on COVID-19 patients
"We've been fighting this overuse of unproven treatments, particularly some of the repurposed drugs in different parts of the world without proof of effectiveness," Janet Diaz, WHO's clinical management leader, told reporters. According to First Post, ivermectin supporters, including hydroxychloroquine supporters argue that since it is still commonly used even for completely unrelated reasons, the usage for COVID-19 is unproblematic.
Bram Rochwerg, the methods chair of the WHO's Guideline Development Group (GDG), told reporters that while ivermectin was a relatively safe medication, the dosing medications used by other diseases were not comparable. The GDG stated that these other considerations outweighed any scope for questionable gain in the absence of proof of effectiveness. The European Medicines Agency has previously warned against using ivermectin for coronavirus outside of clinical trials. In response to the question "Can I take ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19?" The US Food and Drug Administration's COVID-19 commonly asked questions website says bluntly "No."