The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday discouraged the use of anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin to treat COVID-19, noting that the drug’s efficacy in treating the respiratory disease is of “very low certainty.”
Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug approved for the treatment of parasitic infections, including strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis in humans.
There are however reports of people using the drug for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 though it is not scientifically proven.
WHO said in a statement that a guideline development group has been convened in response to the increased international attention on Ivermectin as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
“The group reviewed pooled data from 16 randomized controlled trials (total enrolled 2407), including both inpatients and outpatients with COVID-19. They determined that the evidence on whether ivermectin reduces mortality, need for mechanical ventilation, need for hospital admission and time to clinical improvement in COVID-19 patients is of “very low certainty,” due to the small sizes and methodological limitations of available trial data, including small number of events,” WHO said.
The agency advised that until more data is available, it recommends that the drug only be used within clinical trials.
WHO advises that ivermectin only be used to treat #COVID19 within clinical trials until more data is available, as the current evidence on the use of the treatment is inconclusive https://t.co/bPZ8gygIAe pic.twitter.com/rzyGak5XJD
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 31, 2021