Oxford University explored Ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment
On Wednesday, Oxford University said that it was testing anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin as a possible treatment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as part of a British government-backed study that aimed to aid recoveries in non-hospital settings.
The university said that Ivermectin resulted in a reduction of coronavirus replication in laboratory studies, adding that a small pilot showed giving the said drug early could reduce viral load and the duration of coronavirus symptoms in some patients with mild COVID-19.
Dubbed “PRINCIPLE”, Inquirer reported that the British study last January showed that antibiotics doxycycline and azithromycin were generally ineffective against early-stage COVID-19.
While the World Health Organization (WHO), and US and European regulators have recommended against using Ivermectin in COVID-19 patients, it was being used to treat the illness in several countries — including India and the Philippines.
“By including ivermectin in a large-scale trial like PRINCIPLE, we hope to generate robust evidence to determine how effective the treatment is against COVID-19, and whether there are benefits or harms associated with its use,” said Chris Butler, a co-lead investigator of the clinical trial.
The university added that people with severe liver conditions, who were on blood-thinning medication warfarin, or taking other treatments known to interact with ivermectin, will be excluded from the clinical trial.
Moreover, the university said that Ivermectin was the seventh treatment to be investigated in the clinical trial and was currently being evaluated alongside antiviral drug favipiravir.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte said last week that he wanted the speedy completion of the study on the efficacy of Ivermectin against the coronavirus disease.