Friday, April 9, 2021

Ivermectin has no effect on Covid-19: Merck

IVERMECTIN, an antiparasitic drug manufactured by Merck, has no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against Covid-19.

But Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor insisted on distributing the antiparasitic drug to the sick and elderly, saying, he got ivermectin treatment while recovering from Covid-19. 

“Ivermectin is safe. It has been there for so many years. Wala po itong recorded na adverse effects sa mga pasyente maging sa ginagawang clinical trials sa ngayon,” Defensor, who is not medical doctor, said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

Citing a study of six trials conducted by the Philippine Covid-19 Clinical Practice Guidelines, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health reiterated that ivermectin did not significantly reduce the risk of death among patients with mild to severe coronavirus cases. It also did not substantially reduce the hospitalization period or time resolution of symptoms.

World Health Organization Country Representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe has also warned against the use of ivermectin for Covid-19 prevention or treatment. He said that 95% of Covid-19 patients recover without specific treatments, so it is not science or evidence if a coronavirus patient recovers after being given the antiparasitic drug.

According to Merck, ivermectin also has no meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with Covid-19 and a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.

This was affirmed by Merck - also known as MSD outside the United States and Canada - after company scientists carefully examined the findings of all available and emerging studies of ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19 for evidence of efficacy and safety. 

“It is important to note that, to-date, our analysis has identified: No scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19 from pre-clinical studies; No meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with COVID-19 disease, and; A concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies,” Merck said.

“We do not believe that the data available support the safety and efficacy of ivermectin beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information,” it added.

Ivermectin is approved in the United States under the brand name STROMECTOL and is indicated for the treatment of intestinal strongyloidiasis due to the nematode parasite Strongyloides stercoralis and for the treatment of onchocerciasis due to the nematode parasite Onchocerca volvulus.

Strongyloidiasis is infection by a roundworm, or nematode, called Strongyloides stercoralis and Onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness, is a disease caused by infection with the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus.

Merck said STROMECTOL is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to any component of the product

Warnings and Precautions

Patients treated with STROMECTOL for onchocerciasis may experience cutaneous and/or systemic reactions of varying severity (the Mazzotti reaction) and ophthalmological reactions.

After treatment with microfilaricidal drugs, patients with hyperreactive onchodermatitis (sowda) may be more likely than others to experience severe adverse reactions, especially edema and aggravation of onchodermatitis.

Rarely, patients with onchocerciasis who are also heavily infected with Loa loa may develop a serious or even fatal encephalopathy either spontaneously or following treatment with an effective microfilaricide. In these patients, the following adverse experiences have also been reported: pain (including neck and back pain), red eye, conjunctival hemorrhage, dyspnea, urinary and/or fecal incontinence, difficulty in standing/walking, mental status changes, confusion, lethargy, stupor, seizures, or coma. (Mindanao Examiner)

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