Amid the devastating second wave of coronavirus, the Goa government on May 10 recommended all people above 18 years to take Ivermectin 12 mg for a period of five days. According to health experts from UK, Italy, Spain and Japan, the anti-parasite drug helps in preventing steep or fatal symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). The experts found a statistically significant reduction in mortality, time recovery and viral clearance in COVID-19 patients treated with medicine.
Ivermectin is an anti-parasite drug and it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The medicine is used as a prescription medication to treat certain parasitic roundworm infections and it is usually 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.
Recent studies have found that regular use of oral Ivermectin can help in reducing the risk of contracting coronavirus. According to research published in May-June last year, scientists reviewed the available data on ivermectin taken from clinical, in vitro, animal and real-world studies. They evaluated the efficacy of the drug in preventing the deadly COVID-19 and analysed three RCTs and five observational controlled trials including almost 2,500 patients.
They reported that ivermectin significantly reduced the risk of contracting COVID-19 when used regularly. The expert panel from the aforementioned countries also recognised Ivermectin as powerful prophylaxis to have a statistically significant reduction in mortality, time to recovery and viral clearance in COVID-19 patients treated with this medicine. However, another systemic review in November last year concluded that there is “weak evidence” of Ivermectin’s benefit when used as add-on therapy in non-severe Covid-19 cases.
The approval of Ivermectin as a preventive measure for coronavirus is still at a research-level as the FDA has not yet approved or reviewed data to support the use of the drug in COVID-19 patients. The FDA has also found it necessary last year to issue a warning against the drug’s use in coronavirus treatment. However, several parts of the world have found the drug to have significant results. It is worth noting that Ivermectin is recommended against COVID-19 treatment by the FDA, EMA and the US national Institue of Health - all of which stated that better studies and larger studies are needed to determine if the drug has any actual benefit.
Goa’s Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has said that Ivermectin 12mg tablet will be made available in all district, sub-district, PHCs, CHCs, sub-health centres, rural dispensaries for people to collect and start treatment immediately, irrespective of any symptoms or anything. Rane said that he has given instructions for the “immediate implementation” of prophylaxis treatment. However, he also added that 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.
Rane said that the treatment would not prevent COVID-19 but it can help reduce the severity of the disease. Goa on Monday recorded 2,804 new cases of coronavirus, taking its tally to 1,21,650, while 50 more fatalities pushed the toll to 1,729, a health official said.
(Disclaimer: The content provided above is in no way intended a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, especially related to COVID-19.)