Ivermectin ineffective at treating COVID-19 - study

Researchers from McMaster University in Canada have looked at 3,515 COVID-19 patients to test the effect of ivermectin on hospitalization.

Ivermectin (photo credit: REUTERS)
Ivermectin
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The anti-parasitic ivermectin has been touted by some as a wonder drug that can treat COVID-19. But how accurate are these claims?

A new peer-reviewed study by researchers from McMaster University found that there is no evidence that ivermectin is an effective treatment for coronavirus.

How was the research conducted?

The study, led by Prof. Edward Mills from the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, was published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

It included 3,515 COVID-19 patients, 679 of whom were randomly assigned to receive ivermectin, 679 of whom received a placebo and 2,157 of whom received another COVID-19 treatment.

 FILE PHOTO: A pharmacist holds the anti-parasite drug ivermectin for sale to the public with a medical prescription as Bolivia's Ministry of Health said it can be used under proper medical protocol. Santa Cruz, Bolivia May 19, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/Rodrigo Urzagasti/File Photo) FILE PHOTO: A pharmacist holds the anti-parasite drug ivermectin for sale to the public with a medical prescription as Bolivia's Ministry of Health said it can be used under proper medical protocol. Santa Cruz, Bolivia May 19, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/Rodrigo Urzagasti/File Photo)

The results

The researchers found that those who received the drug did not have a lower rate of hospitalization and outpatients in this group who were diagnosed early were not subject to prolonged emergency department observation.

Mills added that ivermectin could, however, improve clinical outcomes in those suffering from COVID-19 in addition to some parasitic diseases, but that the drug has no effect on COVID-19 itself.