Whether it’s been suspect science, desperation borne of fear, or even devotion to a popular podcaster, many patients across the U.S. have clamored for the federal government, payers, and clinicians to adopt ivermectin as a go-to therapeutic agent to treat COVID-19. When even the physician who started the fervor with a small nonscientific study ultimately disavowed his own findings, conspiracy theorists continued to tout the narrative that dark forces were withholding the one true solution for the pandemic. Perhaps an article just published by The New England Journal of Medicine will finally drive home the point that, while effective for scabies and other maladies, ivermectin has no place in the armamentarium for treating COVID. Researchers recruited adults positive and symptomatic for SARS-CoV-2 from 12 public health clinics in Brazil for a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, adaptive platform trial. Subjects who had been symptomatic for up to 7 days, with one or more risk factors for disease progression, were assigned to receive ivermectin, 400 μg per kilogram of body weight, once daily for 3 days or placebo. Primary composite outcomes were hospitalization due to COVID within 28 days after randomization or an emergency department visit due to clinical worsening of COVID within 28 days after randomization. Nearly 15% of subjects in the ivermectin group experienced a primary outcome event, vs 16.3 in the placebo group. The authors concluded that “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.” Bear this in mind when patients with COVID demand a prescription for ivermectin, either to try to dissuade them that what they’re asking for would not be helpful or to assuage any doubts you might have that you’re doing the right thing. JUCM News readers may recall that an earlier study published by JAMA Internal Medicine also showed that treatment with ivermectin showed no benefit for patients with COVID-19.
Different Study, Same Results: Ivermectin Is Not Helpful in Treating COVID-19