Final Word On Ivermectin: It Helps Horses, Not Humans With COVID-19
Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug often used to deworm horses and cattle, does not reduce the risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19 despite its questionable rise as alternative treatment for the disease, according to a large new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Nick Visser reported.
Photo Insert: Despite the findings and warnings from the horse's mouth, Ivermectin is still pushed as an alternative treatment, including being touted by Spotify podcaster Joe Rogan and given to inmates in Arkansas.
The clinical trial, which began in 2020, analyzed more than 1,300 patients in Brazil who were infected with the coronavirus. Half were given ivermectin and half a placebo in the randomized, double-blind study, meaning neither doctors nor trial participants knew what a patient received.
NEJM said the results confirmed what US health officials have long stressed: Ivermectin did nothing to aid those sickened with the virus or reduce the risk of ending up in the hospital.
“Treatment with ivermectin did not result in a lower incidence of medical admission to a hospital due to progression of COVID-19 or of prolonged emergency department observation among outpatients with an early diagnosis of COVID-19,” researchers wrote Wednesday.
The data had been shared at a presentation to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) last August, but the publication Wednesday was the first time results were shared in full. However, veterinarians attested to the efficacy of the drugs for horses but not to humans who think they are horses.
Researchers in the trial initially gave patients a one-day dose of ivermectin, which is commonly used to treat parasitic diseases, but they also adapted the trial to give some patients the drug in the first three days after a positive COVID-19 test.
That group, they found, actually had worse outcomes than those who took a placebo.
Clinical trials had already shown that ivermectin was not effective against COVID-19, and both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued repeated warnings to Americans not to self-medicate. But it is still pushed as an alternative treatment, including being touted by Spotify podcaster Joe Rogan and given to inmates in Arkansas.