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Top 3 Facts About Ivermectin: Is it a Safe Drug to Treat COVID-19?

Know the facts about ivermectin before using it as a drug

Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug to treat parasitic infections

Current data does not prove that ivermectin can treat COVID-19

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
December 6th, 2021
8 mins read

Since the start of the pandemic, people have been turning towards certain drugs to treat COVID-19. They are even using unapproved medicines as measures to take for COVID-19 prevention. Recently, claims were made that ivermectin was an effective treatment against COVID-19. However, it is better to not consume it without knowing the facts about ivermectin.

Ivermectin is an FDA-approved tablet used to treat people with certain parasitic infections [1] However, the WHO has advised its use only within clinical trials to treat COVID-19 and not for people to use [2]. Read on to know the facts of ivermectin before using it to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Additional Read: D-Dimer Test: What is the Significance of this Test in COVID?

What is ivermectin and what are its uses?

Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug that treats infections like parasitic worms, hookworm, and whipworm. It is also an effective treatment for conditions like onchocerciasis, helminthiases, river blindness, and scabies.

Its oral tablet can treat parasitic infections of the intestinal tract, skin, and eyes. An ivermectin solution, on the other hand, is used to treat people with head lice and rosacea. A higher dose of its other version acts as a de-wormer and is used for animals. It also has the potential to reduce the rate of malaria transmission [3].

Ivermectin is widely used and is usually well-tolerated. However, it is not approved for the treatment of any viral infection. Ivermectin is taken with a full glass of water on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before a meal or as directed by your doctor.

prevention from covid-19

Side effects of ivermectin

The side effects of this medicine depend on the underlying condition being treated. It is wise to seek medical help if the problem becomes severe. Here are the common side effects of this drug.

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Tiredness

  • Loss of energy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Vomiting

  • Seizure

  • Fever

  • Confusion

  • Drowsiness

  • Swollen glands

  • Stomach pain

  • Neck or back pain

  • Lightheadedness

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Dark urine

  • Joint and muscle aches

  • Swelling of hands and feet

  • Increased heart rate

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Skin problems – rashes, itching

  • Trouble standing or walking

  • Bladder or bowel control problems

  • Eye and vision problem – redness, puffy eyes

  • Yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes

Can ivermectin be used to treat COVID-19?

There have been many claims about the effectiveness of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19. It has even become a trending topic across platforms. People are often asking for a prescription of this drug from their physicians. Some have taken this medicine without any recommendation from their doctors in the hope that it will prevent or treat COVID-19. There are also cases where people have ended up taking the version of this drug meant for animals.

Ivermectin is a drug used to treat people with different parasitic infections. It was speculated that it could stop coronavirus from spreading inside the human body. However, clinical trials on this subject have not been successful in convincing health organizations to allow its use for treating COVID-19.

Studies are still going on in this matter. Some of them have found that the potential anti-inflammatory properties of ivermectin may be beneficial for COVID-19 patients. However, no trials have reported a clinical benefit of this drug for the coronavirus. Many other medications are being evaluated for their use and efficacy against coronavirus. But more data is required to support the use of drugs like ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

Health organizations across the world do not recommend it for treating COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) allows the use of ivermectin only in clinical trials and prevents its use in patients with coronavirus to reduce viral replication. So, the only instances where this drug will be given to patients with COVID-19 are in clinical trials. Taking a high dose of ivermectin can also lead to severe side effects. So, do not consume any medicine without authorization for COVID-19 or any drug meant for animals.

Additional Read: COVID-19 Facts: 8 Myths and Facts About COVID-19 You Should Know

Now that you know the facts about ivermectin, do not take any drug without consulting your doctor. One of the measures to take for COVID-19 prevention are COVID-19 vaccines. They protect against coronavirus and reduce risk of the black fungal infection too [4]. If you haven’t already, book your slot for a vaccine on Bajaj Finserv Health. You can also make a quick teleconsultation appointment with a top doctor to get the right advice about ivermectin and its uses.

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