Ivermectin: Review finds evidence does not support use for Covid-19 outside of randomised trials

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  • Researchers have found that ivermectin is not effective for treating Covid-19.
  • The study also found that ivermectin is also not effective in preventing Covid-19.
  • Additionally, ivermectin made no difference in caring for people infected with Covid-19.

New research indicates that ivermectin may have little or no effect compared to a placebo or standard of care in the clinical treatment of Covid-19 patients.

The systematic study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews assessed the efficacy and safety of ivermectin compared to no treatment, standard of care, or placebo, in people with Covid-19 receiving treatment as inpatients or outpatients and prevention of infection.

Testing ivermectin

The researchers gathered 14 studies with 1 678 participants that compared ivermectin to no treatment, placebo, or standard of care. Nine research articles focused on treating people with moderate Covid-19 in inpatient settings and four studies treating mild Covid-19 cases in outpatient settings.

One study investigated ivermectin for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus that causes Covid-19. 

The researchers sought to evaluate the effects of ivermectin in people infected with Covid-19 and ascertain whether people's Covid-19 symptoms got better or worse; side effects; hospital admission or time in hospital; viral clearance; and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The findings

The findings of the reviews show that ivermectin does not increase or decrease mortality at 28 days, neither in inpatients and outpatients nor in the preventive setting.

The results also indicated that ivermectin has little or no effect compared to placebo or standard of care on clinical improvement up to 28 days and duration of hospitalisations for Covid-19 patients.

The authors state that there is insufficient evidence suggesting that ivermectin could be used to treat Covid-19.

"Based on the current very low- to low-certainty evidence, we are uncertain about the efficacy and safety of ivermectin used to treat or prevent Covid-19. The completed studies are small, and few are considered high quality. Several studies are underway that may produce clearer answers in review updates.

"Overall, the reliable evidence available does not support the use ivermectin for treatment or prevention of Covid-19 outside of well-designed randomised trials," authors wrote.

*For more Covid-19 research, science and news, click here. You can also sign up for our Daily Dose newsletter here.

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