If you are not a horse, do not take ivermectin! A large clinical study has shown that it does not work against covid-19 at all

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The results of the largest clinical study to date, the antiparasitic drug ivermectin against covid-19, show that this drug is completely ineffective in the treatment of the disease. An article entitled “The effect of early ivermectin treatment in patients with covid-19” was published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

The aim of the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial was primarily to verify that ivermectin could reduce the need for hospitalization in patients with covid-19 with a high risk of serious disease.

The new study confirmed previous findings

According to an international team of scientists behind the study called TOGETHER, this has failed. “We did not find that ivermectin significantly or clinically significantly reduced the risk of medical hospitalization or long-term observation in the emergency department.” they stated. The researchers believe that their data should definitively discontinue the use of ivermectin against covid-19, although they expect this not to happen.

The results further showed that the drug did not reduce any other factorssuch as length of illness, time spent in hospital, need for mechanical ventilation, length of mechanical ventilation, death or time to death. “We did not find any significant effect of ivermectin treatment on secondary outcomes,” scientists wrote.

The findings are consistent with several older smaller studies and the current medical consensus that ivermectin has not been shown to be effective in the treatment of covid-19. Nevertheless, this drug – commonly used in humans to treat gastrointestinal parasites and onchocercosis, commonly used in veterinary medicine to deworm horses, cows, cats and dogs – has become a popular treatment for covid-19, especially in disinformation circles.

If you’re not a horse, don’t eat it!

The popularity of ivermectin was mainly supported by misinformation and questionable data. The first study using cells in petri dishes indicated that ivermectin has antiviral effects at very high concentrations and could suppress the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. However, the results of trials and other clinical studies were mixed at best.

This has led to fierce internet debates about the drug and also to a sharp increase in its use. In December 2020, its prescribing in the USA increased by 964% compared to the situation before the pandemic. The giant increase cost the U.S. health insurance company more than $ 129 million a year.

Not everyone who wanted to take the medicine received a prescription from a doctor. Therefore, some patients turned to veterinary drugs. This caused a sharp increase in poisoning and led the Food and Drug Administration to release it unusual warning: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, all of you. Stop it. “

Results of a large study of ivermectin treatment

The study took place at twelve Brazilian clinics from March 23, 2021 to August 6, 2021, and included a total of 3,515 patients with covid-19. Of these, 679 randomized received ivermectin, 679 placebo, and 2157 used other therapies. All patients were over 18 years of age, tested positive for covid-19, developed symptoms within seven days, and showed at least one factor that increased the risk of a serious course of the disease.

All patients were followed for 28 days, contacted on days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 14, and 28 after enrollment. People in the ivermectin group received the first three days a dose of 400 micrograms per kilogram body weight.

The researchers noted that they had originally planned to give patients a smaller dose of ivermectin for one day. But after receiving “feedback from groups of his supporters,” they extended the experimental treatment to three days at a relatively high dose.

The drug does not reduce the risk

The main aim of the study was to find out whether the use of ivermectin at the beginning of the infection can reduce the risk of hospitalization in high-risk patients. However, in Brazil there was a period when hospitals were overcrowded and some patients were not admitted to hospital. Experts therefore also included emergency department visits, where the patient was left for observation for six hours or more due to worsening symptoms.

Overall, there was no significant difference in the number of hospitalizations or emergency department visits between the ivermectin and placebo groups. In the ivermectin group, 100 patients (15%) required hospitalization or emergency care, while in the placebo group it was 111 patients (16%)..

The results did not change, even when the researchers narrowed their analysis to exclude a handful of people who ended up in the hospital within 24 hours of starting the study and patients who said they had not followed the recommended regimen. They also did not see any benefit in terms of secondary outcomes, even in patients who started taking ivermectin within three days of the onset of symptoms instead of seven days.

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