Researchers in Australia report that Ivermectin, an FDA-approved drug commonly used to treat parasites, appears to be effective in treating the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19). The drug is widely available and can be “repurposed” for this application, doctors said.
The ScienceDirect journal, Antiviral Research, published an article by a group of Australian researchers from Monash University in Melbourne reporting that Ivermectin appears to be effective at inhibiting the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The article states:
Ivermectin is an inhibitor of the COVID-19 causative virus (SARS-CoV-2) in vitro.
A single treatment able to effect ∼5000-fold reduction in virus at 48h in cell culture.
Ivermectin is FDA-approved for parasitic infections, and therefore has a potential for repurposing.
Ivermectin is widely available, due to its inclusion on the WHO model list of essential medicines.
“We report here that Ivermectin, an FDA-approved anti-parasitic previously shown to have broad-spectrum antiviral activity in vitro, is an inhibitor of the causative virus (SARS-CoV-2),” the researchers write. “Ivermectin, therefore, warrants further investigation for possible benefits in humans.”
The leader of the research team, Dr. Kylie Wagstaff issued a statement, saying, “Ivermectin is very widely used and seen as a safe drug. We need to figure out now whether the dosage you can use it at in humans will be effective—that’s the next step,” Newsweek magazine reported. “We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours there was a really significant reduction in it.”
“Ivermectin’s status as a drug that has already been studied and approved to treat other conditions offers a decided advantage over the development of new drugs, a long process that typically involves many years of studying safety and efficacy before being able to reach human patients,” Newsweek stated.
Dr. Leon Caly, an author of the study and a senior virus identification specialist at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, added, “As the virologist who was part of the team who were first to isolate and share SARS-CoV-2 outside of China in January 2020, I am excited about the prospect of Ivermectin being used as a potential drug against COVID-19.”
The World Health Organization approved the use of Ivermectin in humans to treat onchocerciasis in 1987. “Ivermectin is safe and can be used on a wide scale. It is also a very effective treatment and has single-handedly transformed the lives of millions of people suffering from onchocerciasis,” the WHO wrote in an article on its website. The medicine is widely available.
Author: Bob Price