New Delhi: Amid a raging second wave of coronavirus pandemic, the Goa government on Monday recommended all residents above the age of 18 years to take five tablets of Ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug, in order to prevent steep or fatal symptoms of coronavirus. Speaking to reporters, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane today said that all adults in the state will be given the drug as a “prophylaxis treatment” to prevent the viral infection from taking a severe turn. In case you’re wondering what was the reason behind this decision and if Ivermectin can really help in treating coronavirus, we have the answers for you. Also Read - Third COVID Wave Unlikely to Affect Children in India, Finds WHO-AIIMS Study

What is Ivermectin?

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), used as a prescription medication to treat certain parasitic roundworm infections. It is often used for patients with intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis. The drug is available in tablet form as well as for topical application, depending on the disease. Also Read - Haryana Lockdown: State Govt Announces Rs 5,000 Relief Package For Workers, Shopkeepers

Ivermectin

Ivermectin tablets

How can Ivermectin treat COVID-19 patients?

In a recent study, it has been found that regular use of the oral antiparasitic drug Ivermectin may significantly reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. 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 - Lockdown Horror: Family of 6 Admitted to Hospital After Starving For Days in Aligarh

To evaluate the efficacy of ivermectin in preventing COVID-19, three RCT’s 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.

Expert panels from the UK, Italy, Spain and Japan have recognised Ivermectin as a powerful prophylaxis to have statistically significant reduction in mortality, time to recovery and viral clearance in COVID-19 patients treated with this medicine.

Is it safe?

The approval of the drug as a preventive measure for coronavirus is still at research level as the FDA has not approved or reviewed data to support the use of Ivermectin drug in COVID patients. However, many parts of the world have found the drug to have significant results.

“There’s a lot of misinformation around, and you may have heard that it’s okay to take large doses of ivermectin. That is wrong,” the FDA said in a report dated March 5.

Studies are still underway and people must avoid rumours and follow only official instructions from the government and from doctors.

Goa Recommends Ivermectin For All Adults

Health Minister Rane said, “The Ivermectin 12 mg tablet will be made available in all the district, sub-district, PHCs, CHCs, sub-health centres, rural dispensaries for people to collect and start treatment immediately, irrespective of any symptoms or anything.”

The decision has been taken to bring down the mortality rate in the state. “At the same time one should not have a false sense of security and complacency but strictly take all the precautionary measures and follow laid SOPs,” the minister asserted.