The ravaging effects of COVID-19 have brought the government and India’s healthcare system to its knees. Patients are struggling to find hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, while the medical staff is struggling because of all kinds of shortages. Now, according to a review of available data by researchers claims that the regular use of the oral antiparasitic drug ivermectin may significantly reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. Also Read - Milkha Singh's Wife, Nirmal Kaur, Dies Due To Covid-19 Complications

The research, published in the May-June issue of the American Journal of Therapeutics, is the most comprehensive review of the available data on ivermectin taken from clinical, in vitro, animal, and real-world studies, its authors said. Also Read - Tamil Nadu Lockdown Eased, Unlock Process in 27 Districts From Monday | Check Details

“We conducted the most comprehensive review of the available data on ivermectin,” said Pierre Kory, president and chief medical officer of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), a group of medical and scientific experts, which led the study. Also Read - Sputnik V Rollout in Delhi's Indraprastha Apollo Hospital by Next Week

“We applied the gold standard to qualify the data reviewed before concluding that ivermectin can end this pandemic,” Pierre Kory said in a statement. Ivermectin is an oral drug that is used as a prescription medication to treat parasitic infections.

A focus of the study was on the 27 controlled trials available in January 2021, 15 of which were randomised controlled trials (RCT’s).

The authors found a large, statistically significant reduction in mortality, time to recovery, and viral clearance in COVID-19 patients treated with ivermectin.

To evaluate the efficacy of ivermectin in preventing COVID-19, three RCTs and five observational controlled trials including almost 2,500 patients were analysed.

All studies reported that ivermectin significantly reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 when used regularly, the authors said.

Many regions around the world now recognise that ivermectin is powerful prophylaxis and treatment for COVID-19, the researchers said.

The results as seen in this latest study demonstrate that the ivermectin distribution campaigns repeatedly led to “rapid population-wide decreases in morbidity and mortality,” they said.

“Our latest research shows, once again, that when the totality of the evidence is examined, there is no doubt that ivermectin is highly effective as a safe prophylaxis and treatment for COVID-19,” said Paul E. Marik, founding member of the FLCCC and Chief, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School in the US.

“We are calling on regional public health authorities and medical professionals around the world to demand that ivermectin be included in their standard of care right away so we can end this pandemic once and for all,” Paul E. Marik added.

WHO Recommends Against Ivermectin 

World Health Organisation has warned against the use of Ivermectin for the treatment. “Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. WHO recommends against use of ‘ivermectin’ for COVID-19 except within clinical trials,” Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the global health body’s chief scientist, tweeted.

Dr Soumya also attached a tweet by ‘ivermectin’ manufacturer MSD, or Merck & Co., Inc, who warned also warned against its usage. Merck said scientists continue to carefully examine findings of all available and emerging studies of ‘ivermectin’ for treatment of COVID-19. “…to-date, our analysis has identified: No scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19 from pre-clinical studies; No meaningful evidence for clinical activity or efficacy in patients with COVID-19 disease, and; A concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies,” it said.
WHO has warned against the use of Ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19 in the past too.