TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled study on the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 has found no positive effect on treatment or progression of the virus in patients.
The study, conducted by Platform Life Sciences and Cardresearch from March 23, 2021 to Aug. 6, 2021, did not find changes in health outcomes due to use of ivermectin when treating the coronavirus. The study tested the drug on over 3,500 patients.
According to the study, “There were no significant effects of ivermectin use on secondary outcomes or adverse events.”
Interest in use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 started as early as August 2021. The treatment itself comes in two forms: a paste treatment for livestock or a tablet form for human consumption. The clinical trial by Platform Life Sciences and Cardresearch focused on the tablet version of ivermectin.
The anti-parasitic, along with other drugs such as hydroxychloroquine, have received interest from proponents of “alternative treatment” for COVID-19, and fueled debates across the country in other ways to treat COVID as the pandemic continued.
While ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine both work well against what they’re designed for, treating parasites and malaria, respectively, no study has yet to formally conclude they have assisted in treatment for COVID-19, nor prevented hospitalization when used. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did eventually sponsor or approve studies for multiple existing treatments for potential effects on COVID-19, but the studies have not proven the drugs work for the additional purposes.
Some of those trials happened in Tampa Bay, such as a trial from the National Institutes of Health at Lakeland Regional Health in Polk County, which started in January. The study in Lakeland also included Fluticasone, an asthma treatment, and Fluvoxamine, an anti-depressant. Despite the lack of data proving efficacy, some families have sued successfully to use the treatment option and requests for ivermectin have surged.
The latest study data from Platform Life Sciences and Cardresearch had similar results.
“We did not find a significantly or clinically meaningful lower risk of medical admission to a hospital or prolonged emergency department observation,” the study said. “We found no important effects of treatment with ivermectin on the secondary outcomes. The evidence supporting the role of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19 is inconsistent.”
The study also cites information from the World Health Organization, which found that there was only a “very low certainty evidence regarding ivermectin and thus recommended against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 outside the clinical trial setting.”
The new study said it had similar findings to the WHO, consistent with the conclusion that ivermectin would not help with treatment of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, nor help reduce symptoms or hospitalization.