This study of ivermectin in the lab, i.e. on cells in a petri dish, found the drug to be effective against the Covid-19 virus (called SARS-CoV-2). But the mechanism of action (MOA) is DIFFERENT than in successful clinical studies on people. The different MOA results in a different dosage. If the lab dosing were scaled up to people, it would be extremely high and therefore not workable. Fortunately, ivermectin has a second MOA, one that does not require very high dosing. So the medication works at a dosage level that we already know to be safe, as it is the same dosage as has been used with ivermectin to treat other infections, before Covid-19.
The problem is that some news articles and some intellectually-dishonest “experts” are using the high dosage implied by the lab study to claim that ivermectin is not ready for wide-spread use. The lab study is interesting, but irrelevant.
It showed that ivermectin works as an inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2. The ivermectin molecule attaches to different proteins of the virus, to slow down the disease. That’s the mechanism of action called inhibition. And that’s nice. But too high a dose would be needed when you try to apply that mechanism of action in clinical studies.
So then, why has ivermectin been proven by dozens of studies to be an effective treatment for Covid-19 at much lower dosages? Ivermectin has a second mechanism of action. It can prevent viral proteins from entering the nucleus of the infected cell. This prevents the virus from making copies of itself, stopping the spread of the virus within the body. And it needs only a much lower dosing.
The dosage needed for this effect is the same as the dosage used prior to Covid-19, when ivermectin was used in over a billion persons to safely treat parasitic infections: 0.2 milligrams of ivermectin per kilogram of body weight. And, according to the Andrew Hill meta-analysis of 18 RCTs on ivermectin:
“At standard doses, of 0.2-0.4mg/kg for 1-2 days, ivermectin has a good safety profile and has been distributed to billions of patients worldwide in mass drug administration programs. A recent meta-analysis found no significant difference in adverse events in those given higher doses of ivermectin, of up to 2mg/kg, and those receiving longer courses, of up to 4 days, compared to those receiving standard doses. Ivermectin is not licensed for pregnant or breast-feeding women, or children <15kg.”
Andrew Hill and the International Ivermectin Project Team, “Preliminary meta-analysis of randomized trials of ivermectin to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.” Research Square Study Link
Thus, ivermectin is safe at the usual 0.2 to 0.4 mg/kg dosing used in dozens of clinical trials for treating Covid-19. And its safety has been proven over many decades, ever since the early 1980s, when ivermectin began to be used to treat parasitic infections. And the side effects caused by ivermectin, which you might find listed in medical sources, are mainly due to the dying off of parasites in the body. But when used to treat Covid-19, no such problem occurs.
Already dozens of studies, 19 of them RCTs, have proven the effectivness of ivermectin. The Andrew Hill study showed that ivermectin, in a pooled analysis of 6 RCTs, reduced risk of death by 75% as compared to standard Covid treatments without ivermectin.
Another false claim about ivermectin is that we are waiting for “the gold standard” of clinical studies, the RCT. But there have been 19 RCTs already, as well as meta-analyses of that data. We need wait no longer. If only ivermectin were a new drug, invented by a big pharmaceutical company, which could charge thousands of dollars per treatment course! Instead, ivermectin is an inexpensive common medication invented in the 1970s.
This study: Chamie-Quintero, Juan J., Jennifer Hibberd, and David Scheim. “Sharp reductions in COVID-19 case fatalities and excess deaths in Peru in close time conjunction, state-by-state, with ivermectin treatments.” State-By-State, with Ivermectin Treatments (January 12, 2021) (2021).
showed that mass distribution of ivermectin (for treatment and prevention of parasitic infections) in Peru cause a sharp drop in Covid-19 deaths:
Ivermectin is very safe and widely available. A mass ivermectin distribution program in the U.S. or other nations could cause the same sharp drop in Covid-19 cases as happened in Peru.
The U.S. NIH no longer opposes the use of ivermectin for treating Covid-19. The amount of data from clinical studies vastly exceeds the data used to give approval to Remdeisvir, the Moderna vaccine, and the Pfizer vaccine put together. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are a new medical technology (the mRNA vaccine), never used before in large scale human vaccinations. Ivermectin is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines for children (of 15 kg body weight or more), and on their list of essential medicines for adults as well. It has been used for decades in tens of millions of persons all over the world every year. It is certainly safer than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. (Note that I am not an anti-vaxxer. However, I prefer the time tested vaccine types over the mRNA type.)
Ronald L Conte Jr
an author, not a doctor