New Meta-analysis: Ivermectin Poised as Promising Treatment for COVID-19

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A supporter of President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro holds a large box of Ivermectin, used by many people to treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus, on May 15, 2021 in Brasilia, Brazil. A recent study in the American Journal of Therapeutics that analyzed several other studies appeared to confirm the anti-parasitic drug, which also has antiviral properties, has meaningful value to COVID-19 treatment.
A supporter of President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro holds a large box of Ivermectin, used by many people to treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus, on May 15, 2021 in Brasilia, Brazil. A recent study in the American Journal of Therapeutics that analyzed several other studies appeared to confirm the anti-parasitic drug, which also has antiviral properties, has meaningful value to COVID-19 treatment. (Image: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Therapeutics parsed the data of multiple studies seeking to find if the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin showed efficacy in the treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The examination of data showed promising results.

Ivermectin is widely used in low and middle income countries to treat worm infections, in addition to scabies and lice, says the study. The drug’s benign safety profile has allowed it to be administered so many times that total doses amount to nearly a third of the planetary population.

Ivermectin is considered to be extremely safe in humans. Indeed, its creators were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2015 for its discovery.

According to the study, Ivermectin, in addition to being an anti-parasitic drug, also has significant antiviral effects against other RNA and DNA viruses, such as Dengue, Yellow Fever, and Zika. One study researchers analyzed found the active mechanism for the drug’s antiviral properties is its ability to block the nuclear import of viral proteins. However, this was only demonstrated in vitro, or in lab experiments, and has not yet been confirmed in vivo, or inside the body.

“Developing new medications can take years; therefore, identifying existing drugs that can be repurposed against COVID-19 that already have an established safety profile through decades of use could play a critical role in suppressing or even ending the SARS-CoV2 pandemic,” reads the study.

Researchers note the drug’s use may be significant in the developing world, as the drug is extremely cheap to purchase and administer. One 2018 study examined in the treatment of scabies found 100 12-mg pills cost only $2.90 USD. Another study from Bangladesh showed the drug cost between 60 cents and $1.80 USD for a 5-day dose.

By comparison, the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA injections are costing governments between $19.50 and $37.00 USD per dose before costs of cooling and storage are accounted for. 

The study parsed a total of 594 studies. 512 did not make the cut. Of the remaining 82, 17 were excluded, 39 were still ongoing, and 2 were awaiting classification, resulting in a final 24 studies used as a basis for the researchers’ conclusions. 

The 24 remaining studies involved 3,406 participants. Researchers found in 15 of these trials, comprising 2,438 patients, Ivermectin “reduced the risk of death by an average of 62% (95% CI 27%–81%) compared with no Ivermectin treatment.”

According to the UK Ministry of Defence, “A confidence interval [CI] is an educated guess about a certain characteristic within a population,” and in this case, indicates a range of values likely to include the true value. Since the CI does not include 0%, there is very likely an above 0%, or actual reduction in death.

Using trial sequential analyses (TSA), the authors found “there is firm evidence for a beneficial effect of ivermectin use over no Ivermectin use in mainly hospitalized participants with mild to moderate COVID-19 infection.”

Researchers also analyzed three trials involving front line healthcare workers who took Ivermectin as a preventative measure against developing COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The results were promising. The trials, involving 738 participants, “found that Ivermectin prophylaxis among health care workers and COVID-19 contacts probably reduces the risk of COVID-19 infection by an average of 86% (79%–91%).”

“The findings indicate with moderate certainty that Ivermectin treatment in COVID-19 provides a significant survival benefit,” reads the Discussion section of the study, adding, “Overall, the evidence also suggests that early use of Ivermectin may reduce morbidity and mortality from COVID-19.”

Like pulling teeth

The current narrative propagated by healthcare organizations, medical entities, and big media is that only through the ubiquitous, worldwide administration of the current offerings of experimental mRNA, adenovirus vector, and inactivated virus injections can the COVID-19 pandemic be ended and the world return to a semblance of normalcy.

In December of 2020, the United Nations body, the World Health Organization (WHO), a group whose political ties to the Chinese Communist Party are far too close for comfort for most in light of the alleged leak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, changed its long-standing definition of herd immunity from one that involved immunity “through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection” to one that is triggered only “if a certain threshold of vaccination is reached.”

“Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it,” read the change.

The WHO has since reverted its definition to the original, but added the caveat, “WHO supports achieving ‘herd immunity’ through vaccination, not by allowing a disease to spread through any segment of the population, as this would result in unnecessary cases and deaths.”

This notion is echoed by a climate in which doctors are censored and cancelled for speaking out about side effects in their patients, including miscarriage or stillbirth in pregnant mothers, or alternative methods of treatment.

In a May 4 article in the Chicago Tribune, the family of a 68-year-old woman, Nurije Fype, who had been on a ventilator and in a coma since April 28 after being admitted to Elmhurst Hospital for COVID-19 on April 7, was forced to sue in order to have Ivermectin administered as a last resort effort to save the woman’s life.

According to WebMD, after DuPage County Judge James Orel ruled in favour of the Plaintiffs, the Hospital dragged its feet for three days, saying that it could not find a doctor willing to administer Ivermectin to the patient.

According to the Daily Herald, the Hospital “Asked 20 doctors and 19 other health care workers, including nurses and pharmacists, to administer the medication and they all declined.”

The woman’s family had to resort to bringing in an outside doctor, Alan Bain, who had to travel 3 hours daily after his normal workday to administer the drug to their mother. The treatment was administered for 20 days.

After the original media reports, the story was largely dropped. In late May, blogger Kevin Bae, contacting the woman’s daughter, Desareta, found Nurije’s condition was rapidly improving. “Mom is going through breathing trials! We decided to go with the trachea (early next week) as the safest choice cause she is breathing fast, and we don’t want to risk re-intubation! Slowly heading in a good direction!” she said.

On May 27, Desareta tweeted that her mother had undergone tracheal surgery, saying that it went well, and her mother “Looks stable but in pain.”

A June 14 tweet by the daughter revealed the mother was finally able to be removed from ventilation and appeared to be well on her way to recovery.

Bain said in a statement published on Trial Site News, “What has happened here is an exercise in accountability to help all hospitals keep their word to fight for their patients and support their patients every step of the way. Every patient must hold accountable his doctor assuring that HE or SHE will execute their duty to protect their Patient’s health and safety and never leave a stone unturned, as long as the medication suggested and requested, will do no harm!”

A GoFundMe page for Nurije was established and raised almost $8,000 USD to cover the woman’s medical expenses.

  • Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.