A large study has finally laid to rest the claims that ivermectin is effective against COVID-19.
The controversial horse dewormer gained traction in the early days of the pandemic when some experts claimed it could treat the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.
The demand for the drug somehow increased as many promoted its use against COVID, especially on social media. A doctor group even recommended ivermectin as one of the “i-recover” protocol of medications for the viral disease in February.
But a long-awaited study at the University of Minnesota finally gave its verdict on the drug, saying it was not effective at treating COVID-19.
Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers behind the study found that the antiparasitic drug did not have the capacity to treat a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
For the study, the team focused on three common drugs claimed to have shown promise against COVID: ivermectin, the diabetes drug metformin and the antidepressant fluvoxamine.
According to the researchers, none of the three proved effective at preventing low oxygen levels, ER visits, hospitalizations and even death due to COVID-19.
“None of the three medications that were evaluated prevented the occurrence of hy- poxemia, an emergency department visit, hospitalization, or death associated with Covid-19,” they wrote.
A total of 1,431 patients enrolled in the trial of the drugs from Dec. 30, 2020, through Jan. 28, 2022. However, only 1,323 patients moved forward with the primary analysis after screening.
The patients were randomly assigned to six trial groups with different treatment setups: metformin plus fluvoxamine, metformin plus ivermectin, metformin plus placebo, placebo plus fluvoxamine, placebo plus ivermectin and placebo plus placebo.
Though ivermectin and fluvoxamine did not present any efficacy against COVID-19, the diabetes drug metformin showed some promise. But the data collected by the researchers was not definitive.
“We’re just really grateful to be able to share our work broadly and to have been published in a medical journal,” lead researcher Dr. Carolyn Bramante told KSTP-TV.
The team’s study adds to the growing evidence on ivermectin being ineffective against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Another study published in the same journal in March found that ivermectin did nothing to treat COVID-19 patients. The drug even yielded worse outcomes than the placebo.