COVID-19 and Ivermectin

Ivermectin in lab setting

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Ivermectin for COVID

No repurposed medicine has garnered more worldwide interest for treating COVID-19 than ivermectin. This anti-parasitic medication is available for both humans and animals to treat worm infections. Early reports indicated that it worked well to treat COVID-19 infection and many people around the world began self-medicating with the animal medicine that is available at feed stores. However, scientists and public health officials have warned that ivermectin has not yet proven to be effective. Poison control centers have also been swamped with calls relating to overdoses of ivermectin.

Do not take ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19 unless you are part of a controlled clinical trial. 

Details of the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19

The history of using ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment is interesting. A summary is included here. Check the Additional Resources section for scientific publications.

Ivermectin gained public attention because a laboratory study showed that it could inhibit the coronavirus cells infected with SARS-CoV-2. A  study conducted in Egypt by Elgazzar and colleagues was then published that showed ivermectin given to 400 COVID-positive people reduced mortality by over 90%. But this result was too good to be true. Evaluation of the study by other scientists found a number of concerns, including duplicated patient records, inconsistencies, and patients who died before the study started, as reported in Nature

The paper has since been withdrawn from the journal. But the results were included in at least one review supporting the efficacy of ivermectin. It was a meta-analysis (which evaluates multiple studies to determine an overall effect) which was likely heavily influenced by the questionable Egyptian publication.

Ivermectin controlled clinical trials

More recent research and evaluation of ivermectin has not indicated that ivermectin is effective at treating COVID-19.

The Together Trial enrolled 1497 participants to evaluate several potential medications including ivermectin. The trial had to stop giving ivermectin to participants due to lack of postive effect on COVID.  

The COVID-OUT double-blind, controlled, randomized clinical trial evaluated the impact of metformin, fluvoxamine, ivermectin, and combinations as treatment for 1323 newly diagnosed COVID participants. Metformin lowered the odds of emergency department visits, hospitalizations, or death. However, fluvoxamine and ivermectin did not have a significant effect. The NIH supported Activ-6 trial reported that in 1591 COVID positive individuals, the time to recover from the infection was no different for people receiving ivermectin vs. placebo.

Ivermectin has not been approved by the U.S. FDA for emergency use for COVID-19 treatment. Physicians warn against self-medicating with ivermectin due to potentially dangerous side effects. There are much more effective methods of avoiding the severe symptoms of COVID-19.

Ivermectin molecule

COVID-19 and Ivermectin

  • Naggie S, Bouleware DR, Lindsell CJ, et al. (2022). Effect of ivermectin vs placebo on time to sustained recovery in outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 328(16):1595-1603. (free full text)
  • Kerr L, Cadegiani FA, Baldi F, et al. (2022). Ivermectin prophylaxis used for COVID using propensity score matching. Cureus. Jan; 14(1): e21272. (free full text)
  • Bramante CT, Huling JD, Tignanelli, CJ, et al. (2022). Randomized trial of metformin, ivermectin, and fluvoxamine for Covid-19. N Engl J Med 2022; 387:599-610. (free full text)
  • Bryant A, Lawrie T, Dowswell T, et al. (2021). Ivermectin for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection: A systematic review, meta-analysis, and trial sequential analysis to inform clinical guidelines. Am J Therapeutics, 28(4): e434-e460. (free full text, meta-analysis including Elgazzar publication)
  • Cardwell K, Murchu E, Byrne P et al. (2021). Pharmacological interventions to prevent Covid-19 disease: A rapid review. Rev Med Virol. 28:e2299. (free full text, review)
  • Cruciani M, Pati I, Masiello F et al. (2021). Ivermectin for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Diagnostics (Basel). 11(9): 1645. (free full text, meta-analysis)
  • Deng J, Zhou F, Ali S et al. (2021). Efficacy and safety of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis. QJM. 27 : hcab247. (free full text, meta-analysis)

Human Health News

We’re sorry, you are not eligible for the nationwide COVID-OUT or ACTIV-6 studies, but you may be eligible for other federal trials:

And if you don’t find a match there, this slightly more complex clinical trials finder includes studies sponsored by companies as well:

Trials Today