Recommendation Regarding the Use of Ivermectin as a Treatment for COVID-19, 22 June 2020
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A recent study reported that ivermectin was successfully used in vitro for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 in experimentally infected cells, and two preprint publications reported observational clinical studies on the apparent utility of ivermectin to treat patients with COVID-19 needing mechanical ventilation. However, none of these studies was peer-reviewed nor formally published and one study was later retracted. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) compiled an evidence database of potential COVID-19 therapeutics for which a rapid review was conducted of all COVID-19 in vitro (lab) and in vivo (clinical) human studies published from January to May 2020. The review concluded that the studies on ivermectin were found to have a high risk of bias, very low certainty of the evidence, and that the existing evidence is insufficient to draw a conclusion on benefits and harms. Though the effectiveness of ivermectin is currently being evaluated in various randomized clinical trials, the World Health Organization (WHO) excluded ivermectin from its co-sponsored Solidarity Trial for COVID-19 treatments, a global effort to find an effective treatment for COVID-19. The Mectizan® (ivermectin) Expert Committee Statement on Potential Efficacy of Ivermectin on COVID-19 emphasized that the laboratory results showing efficacy of ivermectin to reduce viral loads in laboratory cultures, at dosage levels far beyond those approved by the FDA for treatment of parasitic diseases in humans, are not sufficient to indicate that ivermectin will be of clinical benefit to reduce viral loads in COVID-19 patients. Chaccour et al. caution against using in vitro findings as more than a qualitative indicator of potential efficacy and emphasize that “due diligence and regulatory review are needed before testing ivermectin in COVID-19...
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