Can Ivermectin Really Cure Or Prevent COVID-19?

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Is Ivermectin the new superdrug that can cure and prevent COVID-19? Find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Ivermectin Can Cure And Prevent COVID-19!

Ivermectin first made headlines in December 2020, and interest has surged recently with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

Many people are promoting Ivermectin on social media, as the new superdrug that can cure and prevent COVID-19… and they claim, a better and safer alternative to the new COVID-19 vaccines.

Here are some of the many “expert opinions” by Google doctors across the world. We intentionally placed a FALSE overlay to prevent it from being misused.

Ivermectin COVID-19 cure fake claims

 

Can Ivermectin Cure Or Prevent COVID-19? Not At The Moment

Now, let’s preface this fact check by noting that ivermectin is one of the drugs that are still being investigated for their effects on COVID-19.

At the moment, there is NO EVIDENCE that Ivermectin can cure or prevent COVID-19. Neither is Ivermectin an approved cure or prophylaxis against COVID-19.

Hence, those excited claims on social media that ivermectin can cure / prevent COVID-19 are FALSE.

Can Ivermectin Really Cure Or Prevent COVID-19?

 

Ivermectin Versus COVID-19 : The Facts

For those who want to learn more, here is what we know so far about Ivermectin as a cure or prophylaxis against COVID-19.

Fact #1 : Ivermectin Is Primarily Promoted By The FLCCC

The FLCCC (Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance) has been actively promoting Ivermectin as a prophylaxis against COVID-19, and a treatment for early and late-stage COVID-19.

This group is led by three doctors – one of whom (Dr. Pierre Kory) testified at a US Senate hearing on early treatments for COVID-19.

FLCCC Ivermectin promotion

Fact #2 : Ivermectin Is FDA Approved As Anti-Parasitic Drug

Ivermectin has the advantage of being a US FDA-approved broad-spectrum anti-parasitic agent, that is on the WHO List of Essential Medicines.

In use since 1981, it has a known safety profile, and is relatively cheap. It is also routinely used to treat parasitic worms in animals, and is used as a prophylaxis against heartworm in dogs.

Fact #3 : Ivermectin Was Proven To Inhibit SARS-CoV-2 In Vitro

While FLCCC may be the “face” of the effort to promote Ivermectin, an Australian team actually proved that Ivermectin inhibits SARS-CoV-2 in vitro.

But this is important – it only worked in the laboratory, when applied to Vero-hSLAM (African green monkey kidney) cells. That’s what it means when scientists say “in vitro” (in glass).

Fact #4 : Efficacy In Vitro Does Not Mean It’s Effective Or Safe In Vivo

Many things can inhibit or destroy viruses in vitro, including disinfectants and UV light that Donald Trump favoured.

But that does not mean they will work in the human body (in vivo), or be safe to consume, or inject into our bodies.

Some compounds work in vitro (in the lab), but fail to show any effect in vivo (in the body). Other compounds may work, but only at such high dosages that they may be toxic.

Further research, followed by animal and human trials are required to determine actual safety and efficacy.

In fact, the in vitro study showed that Ivermectin had a IC50 of 2.2~2.8 µM against SARS-CoV-2, which would mean therapeutic doses would likely be much higher than currently approved as safe for use in humans.

Missouri Ivermectin warning

Fact #5 : A New 2021 Study Showed Potential For Further Research

A small randomised double-blind, placebo controlled trial of Ivermectin was conducted between 31 July and 11 September 2020, and the study was just published in The Lancet on 19 January 2021.

Half of the participants received 400 micrograms per kg weight of Ivermectin, while the other half received a placebo. All 24 participants had non-severe COVID-19.

Their SARS-CoV-2 RNA viral loads were then tested 7 days after taking Ivermectin or the placebo.

At the end of the trial, the study noted that there was :

  • no difference in the infectivity of both groups
  • a marked reduction in symptoms like anosmia / hyposmia (loss or reduction of ability to smell) and cough.
  • a tendency for lower viral loads and IgG titres

What the small study suggests is that Ivermectin does not appear to reduce infectivity, but could possibly reduce the severity of the illness.

This is a positive sign for further research into Ivermectin, not evidence that it is a cure or prophylaxis for COVID-19.

Fact #6 : US FDA Warns Against Using Ivermectin To Treat Or Prevent COVID-19

Interestingly, as FLCCC ramped up their campaign for Ivermectin in December 2020, the US FDA issued a warning against using Ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19.

It noted that the in vitro study only “described the effect of ivermectin on SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory setting” and that “additional testing is needed to determine whether ivermectin might be appropriate to prevent or treat coronavirus or COVID-19“.

Any use of ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 should be avoided as its benefits and safety for these purposes have not been established.

Data from clinical trials are necessary for us to determine whether ivermectin is safe and effective in treating or preventing COVID-19.

 

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About The Author

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school. He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

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