Questions About Ivermectin

In September 2021, the following press release appeared from the AMA, APHA and ASHP, and quoting the FDA and CDC:

The release takes a position that, not only is Ivermectin strongly discouraged as a treatment for COVID-19, but that it is dangerous, largely due to over-use by people looking for a way to counter COVID-19 symptoms as well as using the wrong variant. Clearly the CDC is not a fan of Ivermectin, which we would think is based on sound science and testing across a wide range of populations. It’s also important to note, as Melody Schreiber does in her blog, the CDC has often been wrong and shifted stances on numerous occasions during this pandemic. So, are we wrong to challenge their narrative on Ivermectin?

Does Ivermectin Help with COVID-19 Symptoms?

Ivermectin, which was discovered in 1975, is a drug prescribed to treat parasitic diseases. There are two variations, one used to treat parasite-related issues in humans, and one used by veterinarians to treat parasites in animals. For humans, Ivermectin can treat a range of parasitic conditions, such as strongyloidiasis, onchocerciasis, head lice, scabies and rosacea, but is it possible that a human taking the animal version of Ivermectin could overdose and suffer severe symptoms? Absolutely! Not only can the amount be toxic, but the animal variant has different chemistry that can be detrimental to humans.

Still, the question remains, why would Ivermectin (the human variant) be a drug some people believe can help with COVID-19 symptoms? As an anti-parasitic drug, it works to inhibit viral proteins from entering a cell nucleus, so, the medical thinking was it could help do the same against the COVID-19 virus. In fact, early in-vitro studies were very encouraging about how Ivermectin, partnered with some other drugs, helped dramatically reduce the severity of COVID-19 in patients. This early research, and Ivermectin’s low cost and wide-spread availability led India, the 2nd most populated country on earth, to offer Ivermectin as a treatment (in conjunction with several others) to help stem the spread of the virus. Reports began circulating quickly that India’s plan, especially in some provinces, showed significant improvement in the death rate. In January 2022, more information was shared from India that proved they were offering care packages with Ivermectin, called isolation kits, for COVID-19 treatment. You can view them here.

India, with a population of 1.4 billion people or more than 4X the population of the United States, has seen 50% of the total cases of COVID-19 AND 50% of the deaths from COVID-19 compared to the United States. Perhaps India has a higher percentage of vaccination? Nope. 60% are fully vaccinated, vs. 65% in the United States. Given the population density of the country, the difficulties with offering clean water in many places, and the climate that can encourage mosquitos and other parasites to be very active, it’s interesting to see how India has been able to more successfully modulate the incidence and mortality from COVID-19 vs. the United States. Is it all due to Ivermectin? I doubt it, as they have several drugs that have been approved for treatment, but one would think the CDC/NIH and the Biden Administration would be very interested to learn how India has been more successful, and apply that learning to help save American lives.

More Validation

The CDC and NIH have recommended other drugs as treatment options against COVID-19, one of which is Remdesivir, a nucleotide prodrug of an adenosine analog that acts as an anti-viral drug by binding to RNA aspects of the virus. Remdesivir has also demonstrated in vitro activity against COVID-19.

Based on this recommendation, you would think the CDC and NIH would have solid proof that Remdesivir would be a very good option, with a high success rate compared to, for example, a drug like Ivermectin. You would be wrong. From the Journal of Infectious Diseases, this study from Sri Lanka and Rhode Island aimed to understand how Ivermectin compared to Remdesivir in reducing mortality from COVID-19. I’ve attached a link to the study below:

Quoted from the study:

After using propensity score matching and adjusting for potential confounders, ivermectin was associated with reduced mortality vs remdesivir (OR 0.308, 95% CI (0.198,0.479)), Risk Difference -5.224%, CI (-7.079%,-3.369%), p <0.0001.

Conclusion: Ivermectin use was associated with decreased mortality in patients with COVID-19 compared to remdesivir. 

Final Thoughts

There is a lot of misinformation being propagated about COVID-19, drugs that should or should not be used, and the safety of vaccines. We have centralized government bodies like the CDC to help provide clarity and direction, not based on an agenda or influence from a specific political party or industry, but to provide the best advice for the health and wellness of the population. To be very clear, I am not saying Ivermectin is a wonder drug or treatment, nor do I believe it’s the right treatment path for everyone. But what I am questioning is why our CDC/NIH and Biden Administration leaders have been so quick to dismiss a drug that is readily available, well-studied with decades of data, has been shown to offer relief to people in the early stages of COVID-19, and is being used by millions across other parts of the world? What if tens of thousands of Americans could have been saved by having a treatment like Ivermectin readily available and prescribed in the early onset of COVID-19?

Personal health care is a personal choice, and that choice should reside with the patient and the health care professional s/he trusts to make the best treatment decision. Decisions like these, where a person’s life could depend on it, need to be made with facts and data, not propaganda and narratives.