The study authors conclude that ivermectin could reduce the risk of COVID-19-related death with moderate-certainty evidence. “Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease,” they conclude, adding that the drug is “likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.”
The meta-analysis analyzed databases up to April 2021, drawing from 24 randomized controlled trials with 3,406 patients.
Another study published in Lancet found a concentration-dependent antiviral activity of oral high-dose ivermectin in a trial involving 45 patients.
Many experts, however, have voiced skepticism regarding the use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. In May, Health Feedback concluded that ivermectin did not slow the infection rate in countries with high COVID-19 caseloads.
A randomized study published in JAMA concluded that ivermectin did not appear to be an efficacious COVID-19 treatment for mild COVID-19, but critics pointed to methodological flaws in that study.
FDA has warned consumers of using the drug to treat or prevent COVID-19, as the agency has not authorized the use of the drug as a treatment for the novel coronavirus, and large doses of the drug can cause serious side effects.
WHO and NIH have come to similar conclusions regarding the use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. In March, WHO concluded that ivermectin should only be used as a COVID-19 treatment in clinical trials.
In February, ivermectin manufacturer Merck concluded there was no solid scientific basis for using ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment.