Scientists will start administering Ivermectin to those with COVID-19 symptoms to see if it can help treat infected individuals at home. Oxford University researchers are pioneering the use of the antiparasitic drug, which can cost $2.09 for the treatment.
The University of Oxford aims to aid recoveries in non-hospital settings. It investigates antiparasitic Ivermectin as a potential treatment for COVID-19 as part of government-funded research. The University claims that Ivermectin reduced virus replication in laboratory tests, which might lower the viral load and duration of symptoms in certain individuals with moderate COVID-19.
A trial called "Principle" will assess Ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment
In a British-led study conducted in January, antibiotics Doxycycline and Azithromycin medicines were ineffective against COVID-19, Reuters via MSN reported. Although the World Health Organization (WHO), European and American regulators have advised against using Ivermectin in COVID-19 patients, it is used to treat the disease in several countries, including India.
People with severe liver disease, those using the blood thinner Warfarin, and those taking other medications known to interact with Ivermectin are excluded from the analysis, said the University. Ivermectin is the trial's seventh drug, and it's being tested with the antiviral medicine Favipiravir.
The trials, called "Principle," are recognized as the "gold standard" since they may be considerably more certain of assessing the drug's effects than those of other factors. Despite the absence of solid evidence, doctors and individuals self-medicating in Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, and South Africa have prescribed Ivermectin, as per the BBC.
In the United States, provider SingleCare said that in January and February, 817 prescriptions for Ivermectin were issued, compared to 92 in the same period last year. Only the inhaled steroid budesonide, one of the six other medicines in the Principle trial of COVID-19 treatments to be administered at home, has thus far shown beneficial. However, another steroid, dexamethasone, was found to treat COVID-19, which credited with saving more than 20,000 lives in the UK, as part of the Recovery trials of medications for hospital patients.
Ivermectin found to reduce risk of fatality, helps COVID-19 patients recover
According to an analysis of 11 trials, it reduces the risk of fatality in infected patients and aids their recovery. However, experts believe the findings are preliminary, and that additional data is needed before any firm conclusions can be formed.
So far, the vast majority of scientific medication trials have centered on saving lives. The National Health Service (NHS) does not presently use any at-home treatments for the infection. Rest and paracetamol or ibuprofen are recommended for those who are not highly sick. The Oxford researchers leading the trial want to find at-home treatments that will keep infected patients out of the hospital.
Ivermectin has been shown in lab tests to inhibit COVID-19 from spreading. In addition, several small trials have shown that taking the medication soon after contracting the virus might lower the viral load and the length of time patients' symptoms endure.
Meanwhile, the researchers claim that there is limited evidence that it helps based on large-scale randomized controlled trials. Indian health officials also suggested Ivermectin for people with a mild case of COVID-19.
"Ivermectin is readily available globally, has been widely used for many other infectious conditions so it's a well-known medicine with a good safety profile. And because of early promising results in some studies, it's already being widely used to treat COVID-19 in several countries," said Professor Chris Butler, co-chief investigator of the Principle trial, Daily Mail reported.
Participants who did not get the medication will be compared to those who did. More than 5,000 participants from around the UK have already signed up for the research, which is the world's largest for finding new treatments for recovering from coronavirus outside of the hospital.