Study shows 5-day course of ivermectin may clear COVID-19 early

Staff Correspondent | Published: 14:10, Dec 07,2020


A UNB photo of ivermectin

Patients receiving a five-day course of ivermectin have shown an early viral clearance and improvements of blood biomarkers, revealed a study on Monday.

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh conducted the study titled ‘Ivermectin and Doxycycline in Combination or Ivermectin Alone for the Treatment of Adult Bangladeshi Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19: a Randomised, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial’ between June and September.

Icddr,b scientist Wasif Ali Khan, also principal investigator, disclosed the findings at a seminar at Renaissance Dhaka Gulshan Hotel.

Icddr,b organised the seminar to share preliminary findings of the study that evaluated the safety and efficacy of ivermectin in combination with antibiotic doxycycline or ivermectin alone for the treatment of confirmed mild cases of COVID19.

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated orally administered ivermectin alone (12mg once daily for 5 days), ivermectin single dose (12mg) in combination with doxycycline (200mg stat doxycycline on day 1 followed by 100mg 12 hourly for next 4 days) compared with placebo among 68 hospitalised patients with COVID-19 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Patient distribution was 22, 23 and 23 in each group respectively. The participating hospitals were Mugda Medical College and Hospital; Kurmitola General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Dhaka Medical College & Hospital, Dhaka.

The study demonstrated that patients in the 5-day ivermectin group were 77 per cent more likely to have early viral clearance on day 14 compared to those who received ivermectin and doxycycline (61 per cent) and placebo (39 per cent).

It also showed that on day three, 18 per cent of the patients in the group treated with ivermectin alone began to show viral clearance compared to ivermectin plus doxycycline (3 per cent) and placebo (3 per cent), while on day seven it stood at 50 per cent, 30 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

The odds of improvement in clinical status with the 5-day treatment course of ivermectin versus ivermectin and doxycycline, and placebo were also favourable, trending toward reduction of severity of infection indicated by improvement in the blood bio-markers.

The C-reactive protein (CRP), Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) and Ferritin levels notably dropped from the baseline to day seven in the ivermectin alone group compared to other two groups. The anti-parasitic drug is found to be safe and has shown, at best, a modest benefit for mild coronavirus.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email