A group of researchers evaluating the effect of repurposed drugs against COVID-19 found that oral antiparasitic medication ivermectin did not improve patient outcomes in the largest trial of its kind to date, Tea wall street journal reported on Friday.
Ivermectin marketed by Merck (NYSE:MRK) as Stromectol for parasitic infestations sparked controversy during the pandemic prompting the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue warnings against its excessive use.
“There was no indication that ivermectin is clinically useful,” said Edward Mills, a lead investigator of the trial and a professor of health sciences at Canada’s McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
The findings have been accepted for publication in a major peer-reviewed medical journal, and on Friday, Dr. Mills is scheduled to present the data at an event sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
The latest trial conducted in Brazil involved 1,358 adults with COVID-19 symptoms. All study participants were at risk of developing the severe form of the disease with a history of pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or lung disease. Half of them received Ivermectin pills for three days, and the other half received a placebo.
Dr. Mills and the team looked at their hospitalizations rates within 28 days. In addition, they gathered data on how fast the patients cleared the virus, how soon their symptoms improved, whether they were in hospital or were relying on ventilators for less time, and the differences in death rates.
For accuracy, they analyzed data in three different ways, and in each scenario, ivermectin was found to have no impact on the improvement of patient outcomes.
Last year, the FDA authorized oral COVID-19 pills, Paxlovid and molnupiravir, developed by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Merck (MRK)/ Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, respectively, for at-home use.