Ivermectin No More Effective Against COVID Than Placebo: Clinical Trial

A recent study found that ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug that has been widely debated as a COVID-19 treatment, is ineffective in fighting the coronavirus, experts reported.

The study, which was published on Wednesday, followed 1,300 people in Brazil showing symptomatic signs of COVID-19 infection. The patients in the test received either ivermectin or a placebo, and the results of the study found that those who received ivermectin were not less likely to end up hospitalized.

In fact, those who took ivermectin in the first three days after testing positive for COVID-19 appeared to have worse symptoms than those in the placebo group, according to The New York Times.

Dr. David Boulware, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Minnesota, said, "There's really no sign of any benefit," reported the Times.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ivermectin for treating conditions caused by parasitic worms but warned in December of 2021 that ivermectin was not authorized to be used in treating COVID-19.

"There seems to be a growing interest in a drug called ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in humans," the FDA wrote on its website last year. "Currently available data do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19."

The FDA warned that "Taking large doses of ivermectin is dangerous."

However, ivermectin has been pushed as an effective COVID-19 treatment by several big-name conservatives, including podcaster Joe Rogan, who insisted last fall that he was prescribed ivermectin by his doctor, and Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The Georgia representative took to Twitter last fall to call ivermectin the "'Wonder Drug' from Japan" and touted its safety and benefits, tweeting that "Many clinical trials have proven Ivermectin to be a very effective safe & cheap treatment against COVID."

The clinical trial team in Brazil called TOGETHER, set up in June 2020, managed to confirm the opposite, according to the results which were published on Wednesday.

Between March and August 2021, according to the Times, researchers in the study gave ivermectin to 679 patients over the course of three days. Neither the patients nor the medical staff knew which drug—ivermectin or the placebo—was being administered.

The study showed that 100 patients who received ivermectin, and 111 who received the placebo, were hospitalized with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

"Treatment with ivermectin did not result in a lower incidence of medical admission to a hospital due to progression of Covid-19 or of prolonged emergency department observation among outpatients with an early diagnosis of Covid-19," the study concluded.

Newsweek reached out to the American Society for Virology for comment.

This is a breaking news story and will updated as more information becomes available.

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A recent study found that ivermectin showed no apparent effectiveness in treating COVID-19 patients. In this photo, a health worker shows a bottle of ivermectin, a medicine authorized by the National Institute for Food and Drug Surveillance (INVIMA) to treat patients with mild, asymptomatic or suspicious COVID-19, as part of a study of the Center for Paediatric Infectious Diseases Studies, in Cali, Colombia, on July 21, 2020. LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images