Nigerian study suggested Ivermectin may be safe against Covid-19
In a 2021 study, researchers suggested that Ivermectin can be successful in treating mild or moderate Covid-19 infections. They said that this drug lessens the time it takes for patients to test negative.
By 2021 Covid-19 had spread across the globe and researchers were searching for treatments. Research showed conflicting results about using Ivermectin in Covid-19 patients, with some studies showing that it doesn’t fight the virus effectively.
In this study, researchers wanted to show that Ivermectin is safe to use for treatment against mild or moderate Covid-19 infections.
They divided 62 Covid-19 patients who had mild or average symptoms into different groups. One group was given 2 small doses of Ivermectin, another group was given 2 larger doses of Ivermectin, and the last group was given a placebo. A placebo is a look-alike drug that has no effect on the patients.
They then monitored the patients carefully.
Their findings suggested that patients who had higher doses of Ivermectin had tested negative for Covid-19 and recovered in a shorter amount of time than patients without the drug. None of the treated patients showed any side effects.
The researchers also noticed that the levels of certain proteins linked to Covid-19 had improved in patients that were given the drug. Importantly, they showed that older patients took longer to test negative.
Previous research suggested that Ivermectin shouldn’t be used as a Covid-19 treatment. This study however, suggested at the time that the controversial drug may be safe to use with a controlled dose and may be effective in treating Covid-19. However, future work should focus on how exactly the drug might bring about the benefits described in this study, including a faster recovery time, and shorter period for testing negative. Also, a deeper understanding would be needed to decide whether this drug can be used as a way to prevent Covid-19.
Covid-19 has killed many in Africa and beyond. This study suggested a drug that could be considered at this earlier time in the pandemic to potentially treat many Covid-19 patients with mild or moderate infections.
Nigerian researchers and patients were involved in this study.
In vitro studies have shown the efficacy of Ivermectin (IV) to inhibit the SARS—CoV-2 viral replication, but questions remained as to in-vivo applications. We set out to explore the efficacy and safety of Ivermectin in persons infected with COVID19.
We conducted a translational proof of concept randomized, double blind placebo controlled, dose response and parallel group study of IV efficacy in RT—polymerase chain reaction proven COVID 19 positive patients. Sixty-two patients were randomized to three treatment groups. (A) IV 6 mg regime, (B) IV 12 mg regime (given Q84 h for 2 weeks) (C, control) Lopinavir/Ritonavir. All groups plus standard of Care.
The Days to COVID negativity (DTN) was significantly and dose dependently reduced by IV (P = 0.0066). The DTN for Control were, = 9.1+/–5.2, for A 6.0 +/– 2.9 and for B 4.6 +/–3.2. Two way repeated measures ANOVA of ranked COVID 19 +/– scores at 0, 84, 168 and252h showed a significant IV treatment effect (P = 0.035) and time effect (P < 0.0001). IV also tended to increase SPO2% compared to controls, P = 0.073, 95% CI—0.39 to 2.59 and increased platelet count compared to C (P = 0.037) 95%CI 5.55—162.55 × 103/ml. The platelet count increase was inversely correlated to DTN (r = –0.52, P = 0.005). No SAE was reported.
12mg IV regime given twice a week may have superior efficacy over 6mg IV given twice a week, and certainly over the non IV arm of the study. IV should be considered for use in clinical management of SARS-COV2, and may find applications in prophylaxis in high risk areas.]
This summary is a free resource intended to make African research and research that affects Africa, more accessible to non-expert global audiences. It was compiled by ScienceLink's team of professional African science communicators as part of the Masakhane MT: Decolonise Science project. ScienceLink has taken every precaution possible during the writing, editing, and fact-checking process to ensure that this summary is easy to read and understand, while accurately reporting on the facts presented in the original research paper. Note, however, that this summary has not been fact-checked or approved by the authors of the original research paper, so this summary should be used as a secondary resource. Therefore, before using, citing or republishing this summary, please verify the information presented with the original authors of the research paper, or email [email protected] for more information.