What’s new for the clinician – summaries of recently published papers
To date, very few treatments have been demonstrated to reduce the burden of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. Although corticosteroids have been proven to reduce mortality in severe disease, there has been little convincing evidence on interventions that may prevent disease, reduce hospitalizations, and reduce the numbers of people progressing to critical disease and death. Ivermectin is a well-known medicine that is approved as an antiparasitic by the World Health Organization and the US Food and Drug Administration. It is widely used in lowand middle-income countries to treat worm infections. Also used for the treatment of scabies and lice, it is one of the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines.1 With total doses of ivermectin distributed apparently equalling one-third of the present world population,1 ivermectin at the usual doses (0.2–0.4 mg/kg) is considered extremely safe for use in humans.1 In addition to its antiparasiticactivity, it has been noted to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, leading to an increasing list of therapeutic indications. South African authorities approved the use of a drug used to control parasites in humans and livestock to treat coronavirus patients. Additionally, in January 2021, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) announced that ivermectin, would be allowedfor use on compassionate grounds in a controlled-access program. Ivermectin locally has been used for the prevention and/or management of Covid-19 infection. This has resulted in a huge black market trade of ivermectin in South Africa as many health professionals and others have taken to social media and other platforms to profile this drug as an effective treatment for the covid-19 viral infection. Roman and colleagues (2021)1 conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate treatment effects of Ivermectin (IVM) on clinical outcomes and adverse events (AEs) in people with COVID-19.
Roman YM, Burela PA, Pasupuleti V, Piscoya A, Vidal JE, Hernandez AV. Ivermectin for the Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2021 Jun 28. ciab591. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab591.
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