An inexpensive drug used to fight parasitic infections proved highly effective against coronavirus in laboratory tests, Australian researchers reveal.
The change on this news is that it is credited to recognized researchers based in Australia, unlike previous studies done in Egypt, India, or Bangladesh.
The drug in question, ivermectin, would have killed the SARS-CoV-2 virus in less than 48 hours. Ivermectin has been widely used for decades to fight lice, scabies, and other parasitic infections. According to the study, which will be published shortly in the medical journal Antiviral Research, ivermectin prevented the virus from reproducing. The researchers infected cells with SARS-CoV-2.
A single dose of ivermectin greatly reduced the activity of the virus after 24 hours; after 48 hours, the virus was eliminated. One of the study’s authors explained that ivermectin appears to target a molecule that the virus needs to reproduce. In previous studies, ivermectin has shown efficacy against diseases such as dengue fever and an ability to curb infections similar to COVID-19, such as the West Nile virus. More tests are now needed to see if ivermectin works as well in vivo.
United is the international organization that buys drugs for poor countries. United is an international organization that buys drugs for poor countries. The organization monitors every potential treatment against the virus. Indeed, it believes there is “promising preliminary data” for ivermectin. Kim Woo-Joo, a professor at the Department of Infectious Diseases at Korea University Hospital in Seoul, says, “If you want to be 100 percent sure of a drug’s efficacy, you need larger randomized controlled trials” than are currently available. In the U.S., ivermectin is being strongly advocated for by physicians in the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance. Before the U.S. Senate committee, Dr. Pierre Kory testified that the drug is effective.
Anyone with access to ivermectin, including the veterinary version of the product, should not attempt to self-medicate.