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This popular drug does not help you with mild COVID-19 symptoms, study finds

Ivermectin, which is used to treat parasitic worms, won’t help you with the coronavirus

The packaging and a container of veterinary ivermectin is seen in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday Jan. 29, 2021. Ivermectin, which is used to treat parasitic worms, won’t help you with the coronavirus
The packaging and a container of veterinary ivermectin is seen in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. Ivermectin, which is used to treat parasitic worms, won’t help you with the coronavirus.
Denis Farrell, Associated Press

A new study suggests that Ivermectin — an anti-parasitic drug — does not speed up recovery from mild COVID-19 symptoms.

  • The drug has been previously prescribed to help treat symptoms, per The New York Times.
  • “Ivermectin is typically used to treat parasitic worms in both people and animals, but the scientific evidence for its efficacy against the coronavirus is thin,” according to The New York Times.

Details

  • The study picked 400 people with mild COVID-19 symptoms to receive ivermectin or a placebo for five days.
  • The COVID-19 symptoms lasted about 10 days on average among those who received the drug. Symptoms lasted about 12 days for those without the drug, according to the study.
  • So while technically it did lessen the time, the scientists said it wasn’t significant enough to mean anything major.

Why it matters

Evidence is thin about how well the drug works despite doctors recommending it to patients.

  • “Ivermectin is currently being used widely,” Dr. Eduardo López-Medina, a doctor and researcher at the Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases in Colombia, told The New York Times. “In many countries in the Americas and other parts of the world, it’s part of the national guidelines of treating COVID.”

More on Ivermectin

The Food and Drug Administration has approved ivermectin to treat tropical diseases, but it has not been approved for viral infections.

  • The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel said it does not have enough information to recommend it, either: “Results from adequately powered, well-designed and well-conducted clinical trials are needed to provide more specific, evidence-based guidance on the role of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19.”