Ivermectin doesn’t cut viral load in Covid-19 patients, AIIMS study shows
The antiparasitic medicine Ivermectin did not reduce the viral load or duration of symptoms in patients with Covid-19 even at higher doses, shows a randomised controlled trial in 157 patients admitted with mild to moderate disease at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) during the first surge of infections between July and September last year.
The study was recently published in the Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy.
The AIIMS trial divided the participants into three groups – one receiving 12mg Ivermectin (dosage usually prescribed by physicians), one receiving 24mg of Ivermectin, and the third receiving a placebo. Although the proportion of persons who tested RT-PCR negative on Day 5 was higher among those who received high-dose Ivermectin as compared to those who received the lower dose or placebo, it wasn’t significantly high, according to the study – 47.5% as compared to 35% among those with lower dose of Ivermectin and 31.1% in the placebo arm.
“All the Ivermectin being prescribed or being taken by people left, right, and centre will definitely not show any effect. The medicine must be prescribed only under clinical trials as all the evidence so far is not conclusive,” said Dr Anant Mohan, the first author of the paper and head of the department of respiratory medicine at AIIMS.
To be sure, he said the study did not look at whether the drug reduced mortality in patients. “It is known to prevent antiviral replication so we wanted to see whether the viral load drops or whether the duration of symptom reduces after giving the medicine,” he said.