Recent statements by governments and the maker of Ivermectin against the use of the drug in the treatment of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients should finally settle the matter.
The statements of Merck and the health departments of the Philippines and the United States, among others, are like the death blow being delivered on the use of ivermectin in the treatment of Covid-19 patients. This practice of giving ivermectin to persons with Covid-19 should stop.
Merck, the maker of Ivermectin, had said that, while company scientists continued to examine findings of all available and emerging studies of ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19, it has been identified to date that there is no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against Covid-19 from pre-clinical studies and no meaningful evidence for clinical efficacy in patients with Covid-19.
The Merck statement was released on February 4, 2021, but it has been resurrected following a statement of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that noted a rise in ivermectin prescriptions and in severe illness associated with the use of the drug in the treatment of Covid-19. The CDC statement, dated August 26, said human exposures and adverse effects associated with ivermectin have increased in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic baseline.
There is a version of ivermectin that is allowed for humans, for illnesses caused by parasitic worms and head lice, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not endorse it for Covid-19 treatment. The World Health Organization had said any use of ivermectin for Covid-19 patients should be for clinical trials only, under doctors’ supervision.
Despite these warnings and reports of people overdosing on ivermectin, some still take it as prevention against Covid-19 or to treat their infection. An overdose on ivermectin can cause nausea, seizures, coma, and even death.
In the Philippines, some people are seeking ivermectin because they read, heard or believed it could protect them, and the drug is affordable. With no cure, no medicine to treat the Sars-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19, it is understandable that people would turn to alternative methods. Even the FDA acknowledges that, with the rising number of cases and deaths, it is not surprising that some consumers will look for unconventional treatments, not authorized by the FDA.
Now that the warnings have been made and the maker of Ivermectin has declared there was no proof of the medicine’s therapeutic effect on patients, the use of the drug to manage Covid-19 infections should stop.
Some doctors have said it would be difficult to treat patients who have taken ivermectin, while others warned they would not accept such patients.
These recent warnings should strike a death blow on the practice of using ivermectin for Covid-19.