Can Ivermectin be Used to Treat and Prevent COVID-19?

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there's a struggle to find a cure, so our lives can return to normal. There's a lot of proposed cures, and Ivermectin is one of them.

Ivermectin is a multifunctional drug that treats diverse alignment. It has been a reliable antiparasitic drug for many years now.



It has been used to treat several tropical diseases, including onchocerciasis, helminthiases, and scabies. It is certified by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States and legal worldwide.

It has also been credited with the ability to reduce the rate of the virus. In recent times, there has been a debate whether or not Ivermectin is a reliable cure for Covid-19 and how safe it is to use. So does Ivermectin work? This brings us to;


Can Ivermectin be Used to Treat and Prevent COVID-19?

Ivermectin Tablet

The answer to this debate is a little tricky because, while some claim that Ivermectin may not be able to treat or prevent the virus explicitly, it has proven to have properties that have altered transmission of viruses similar to Covid-19.


According to research, Ivermectin has the potential to treat COVID-19. Here's how it works:

Viruses operate by hijacking the intracellular transport process; it then utilizes this channel to suppress the host's antiviral response. This is where Ivermectin comes in.

In vitro studies suggest that Ivermectin prevents the host importin alpha/beta-1 nuclear transport proteins; this prevents the process virus uses.

Ivermectin also (possibly) helps alter the attachment of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein to the human cell membrane. This assertion is deduced from Ivermectin's characteristics against viruses that cause dengue, yellow fever, HIV, and, Zika.

Ivermectin has shown prospect and displayed the ability to interfere with viruses that exhibits similar behavior with COVID-19. However, there's no clinical trial that explicitly proves that Ivermectin prevents the virus.

Ivermectin may not be the outright cure, but studies show that the drug has potential anti-inflammatory properties, which can come in handy when treating the virus.


How it Works

Ivermectin in a lab has been shown to stop the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cell cultures. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic research suggests that;

Before you can get the required plasma concentrations that can provide adequate antiviral efficacy detected in vitro, you'll have to take up to 100-fold; this dosage is pretty high for human consumption.

These studies lack solid and empirical backing, but some points you can make out of them are:


Ivermectin is risky for pregnant women, especially women in the early stage. The research was carried out, and Ivermectin was administered to animals. It turned out teratogenic when given in doses that were maternotoxic. This shows that women within 10 weeks of gestation are at risk.


In 2020 a report published showed that pregnant women's consumption could lead to poor maternal and fetal outcomes. However, it is not explicitly clear that Ivermectin is directly the cause of poor maternal and fetal outcomes in all.

There are also many cases where Ivermectin was used in early pregnancy without any known side effects.

Over the years, Ivermectin has been used for children weighing above 15 kg to treat infections like helminthic, pediculosis, and scabies. However, for children weighing less than 15kg, its safety has not yet been assertive. For children, there is no distinct side effect.


Personal Recommendations

Just like I previously stated, there's only a little evidence to show that Ivermectin can be used for COVID-19 Treatment, but at the same time, we cannot rule it out. To sum it up, Ivermectin may or may not be the cure. The big question is, what do we stand to lose when we use the drug?


Monitoring, Adverse Effects, and Drug-Drug Interactions

● Ivermectin overall has minor or mild side effects; this may include pruritis, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea.


● There have been reports of some neurological adverse effects after Ivermectin in treating onchocerciasis and other parasitic diseases. However, there is no proof that these effects can be directly linked to Ivermectin. It could be some underlying conditions.

● Ivermectin shouldn't be taken just after you've eaten; else, it increases its bioavailability. Ivermectin is classified under little cytochrome P 3A4 substrate and a p-glycoprotein substrate. It is best consumed on an empty stomach.

● Ivermectin meant for animals should not be used as a treatment for COVID-19. The FDA specifically issued this warning in 2020.

None of these effects is life-threatening.


Conclusion

Overall, Ivermectin is the closest we have to cure the COVID-19 virus; even though there is no clear evidence backed with strong clinical proof that this drug is the solution, no clear evidence to prove that it isn't.

Numerous clinical trials are attempting to evaluate the effectiveness of Ivermectin in the prevention and cure of COVID-19. For now, let's keep our fingers crossed.


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