WHO warns against use of Ivermectin for Covid-19 treatment
The World Health Organisation has recommended against using Ivermectin to treat patients with coronavirus disease but the anti-parasitic medicine is widely prescribed by doctors in India for the same. Goa government has even asked its adult population to take a five-day course, irrespective of their Covid status, to prevent complications.
On Tuesday, a senior WHO scientist took to Twitter to reiterate the organisation’s recommendation. “Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. @WHO recommends against the use of ivermectin for #COVID19 except within clinical trials,” said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist, World Health Organisation in a tweet.
She also quoted a statement from pharmaceutical company Merck from February this year which states, “Our analysis has identified: *No scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against Covid-19 from pre-clinical studies; no meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with Covid-19 disease, and; a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.”
In India, the drug is a part of clinical guidance for management of adult Covid patients that was jointly released by Union health ministry, and Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Covid Task Force last month.
As per the guidance, Ivermectin is advised for patients with mild Covid-19 disease under therapies based on low certainty of evidence.