Maximum Dose of Ivermectin Does Not Improve COVID-19 Recovery Time


A midsized study demonstrated no therapeutic benefit to patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 taking this class of anthelmintics.

A new study showed that taking a maximum dosage of ivermectin vs a placebo did not decrease the time to sustained recovery in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.

“Treatment with ivermectin, with a maximum targeted dose of 600 μg/kg daily for 6 days, compared with placebo did not improve time to sustained recovery,” the study authors wrote. 

The study was published in JAMA.

There has been a lot discussion the last few years about whether this class of anthelmintics can help people diagnosed with COVID-19, especially as there has been limited efficacy of many antivirals. With this background, the investigators wanted to examine if ivermectin, at a maximum targeted dose, shortened duration of symptoms or prevented hospitalization among outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19.

This was part of the ongoing Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines 6 (ACTIV-6) randomized clinical trial, which was set up to evaluate repurposed therapies among outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19.

For this trial, they studied a total of 1206 participants older than 30 years of age with COVID-19 experiencing at least 2 symptoms of acute infection for less than or equal to 7 days. Participants were enrolled across 93 US sites from February 16, 2022, through July 22, 2022. Individuals were randomly assigned to receive either ivermectin daily (n = 602), or placebo (n = 604) for 6 days.

“The median [interquartile range (IQR)] time to sustained recovery was 11 (11-12) days in the ivermectin group and 11 (11-12) days in the placebo group,” the investigators wrote.

In the ivermectin cohort, they reported 34 participants were either hospitalized, died, or had urgent or emergency department visits compared with 36 in the placebo cohort. For the former group, 1 participant died and 4 were hospitalized. In the placebo group, 2 participants were hospitalized and no deaths were reported.

The participants were asked to complete daily assessments and report adverse events through day 14. Assessments included symptoms and severity, health care visits, and medications. If symptoms were still ongoing at day 14, daily surveys continued until participants experienced 3 consecutive days without symptoms or until day 28. At days 28 and 90, all participants completed assessments.

The investigators concluded no therapeutic benefit was realized using ivermectin in this population group. “These findings do not support the use of ivermectin among outpatients with COVID-19,” the study authors wrote.

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