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Study finds drug ivermectin failed as COVID-19 treatment, surged in popularity during pandemic

Posted at 5:47 PM, Mar 30, 2022

The antiparasitic drug ivermectin was found to show no signs of alleviating symptoms of coronavirus infection, according to a large clinical trial published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study involved 1,300 participants in Brazil infected with COVID-19, who either received the drug ivermectin as a treatment, or a placebo.

Dr. David Boulware, a University of Minnesota infectious-disease expert said, “There’s really no sign of any benefit.”

“Now that people can dive into the details and the data, hopefully, that will steer the majority of doctors away from ivermectin towards other therapies,” Dr. Boulware.

Results of the study were presented in August during a presentation from the National Institutes of Health, the New York Times reported.

Skeptics have highlighted that past experiments with the drug's use as a treatment in humans were done with high concentrations of the drug, which were shown to be at levels that are not safe for people, according to the New York Times.

The study authors wrote that "The active-drug and placebo pills were packaged in identically shaped bottles and labeled with alphabetic letters corresponding to ivermectin or placebo. Participants who were randomly assigned to receive placebo were assigned to a placebo regimen (ranging from 1 day to 14 days) that corresponded with that of a comparable active-treatment group in the trial. Only the pharmacist who was responsible for randomization was aware of which letter referred to which assignment."