Israeli scientist says Covid-19 could be treated for under $1/day with Nobel Prize-winning drug Ivermectin, a new double-blind study shows
While the U.S. federal government has been busy spending billions of dollars on vaccine development and getting coronavirus vaccines to as many residents as possible, an Israeli scientist now says Covid-19 could be treated for as little as $1/day.
A new double-blind study conducted by an Israeli professor concluded that Ivermectin, an inexpensive anti-parasitic widely used since 1981, reduces both the duration and infectiousness of Covid-19, according to a report from the Jerusalem Post.
Ivermectin was first discovered in 1975 and has been in use since 1981 but both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and WHO cautioned against its use, even though Ivermectin has been approved by the FDA since 1987.
The drug’s discoverers of Ivermectin were awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine for its treatment of onchocerciasis, a disease caused by infection with a parasitic roundworm. Ivermectin was also the 420th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States in 2018, with more than one hundred thousand prescriptions. The drug is also commonly used to fight parasites in third-world countries.
According to Jerusalem Post, citing recent research by Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer in Israel, Ivermectin could help reduce the length of infection for people who contract coronavirus for less than $1 a day,
As part of the study, Prof. Eli Schwartz, founder of the Center for Travel Medicine and Tropical Disease at Sheba, conducted a randomized, controlled, double-blinded trial from May 15, 2020, through the end of January 2021 to evaluate the effectiveness of ivermectin in reducing viral shedding among nonhospitalized patients with mild to moderate Covid-19.
At the end of the study, Professor Schwartz found that nearly 72% of volunteers treated with ivermectin tested negative for the virus by day six. In contrast, only 50% of those who received the placebo tested negative.
“Our study shows first and foremost that ivermectin has antiviral activity,” said Professor Schwartz, adding “It also shows that there is almost a 100% chance that a person will be noninfectious in four to six days, which could lead to shortening isolation time for these people. This could have a huge economic and social impact.”
The study, which appeared on the MedRxiv preprint server and has not yet been peer-reviewed. However, Professor Schwartz pointed out that similar studies – ‘though not all of them conducted to the same double-blind and placebo standards as his’ – also showed favorable results for the drug.
Unlike some vaccines which can be prophylactic (to prevent or ameliorate the effects of a future infection by a natural or “wild” pathogen), Professor Schwartz cautioned that his study did not prove ivermectin was effective as a prophylactic, meaning that it could prevent disease, nor did it show that it reduces the chances of hospitalization. However, other studies have shown such evidence, he added.
For example, there was another study published earlier this year in the American Journal of Therapeutics highlighted that “a review by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance summarized findings from 27 studies on the effects of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection, concluding that ivermectin ‘demonstrates a strong signal of therapeutic efficacy’ against COVID-19.”
“Another recent review found that ivermectin reduced deaths by 75%,” the report said.
The study concludes with the following:
“There were significantly lower viral loads and viable cultures in the ivermectin group, which could lead to shortening isolation time in these patients”
Below is the abstract of the study.
Background Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic agent, also has anti-viral properties. Our aim was to assess whether ivermectin can shorten the viral shedding in patients at an early-stage of COVID-19 infection.
Methods The double-blinded trial compared patients receiving ivermectin 0·2 mg/kg for 3 days vs. placebo in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. RT-PCR from a nasopharyngeal swab was obtained at recruitment and then every two days. Primary endpoint was reduction of viral-load on the 6th day (third day after termination of treatment) as reflected by Ct level>30 (non-infectious level). The primary outcome was supported by determination of viral culture viability.
Results Eighty-nine patients were eligible (47 in ivermectin and 42 in placebo arm). Their median age was 35 years. Females accounted for 21·6%, and 16·8% were asymptomatic at recruitment. Median time from symptom onset was 4 days. There were no statistical differences in these parameters between the two groups.
On day 6, 34 out of 47 (72%) patients in the ivermectin arm reached the endpoint, compared to 21/ 42 (50%) in the placebo arm (OR 2·62; 95% CI: 1·09-6·31). In a multivariable logistic-regression model, the odds of a negative test at day 6 was 2.62 time higher in the ivermectin group (95% CI: 1·06–6·45). Cultures at days 2 to 6 were positive in 3/23 (13·0%) of ivermectin samples vs. 14/29 (48·2%) in the placebo group (p=0·008).
Conclusions There were significantly lower viral loads and viable cultures in the ivermectin group, which could lead to shortening isolation time in these patients.”