What is ivermectin and what is the proof that Ivermectin prevents or cures COVID?
First, a little intro. Ivermectin has been used in more than 30 countries to fight COVID. Just six years ago, in 2015, two scientists who developed it won a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in recognition of the powerful benefits of this drug.
It is a very safe drug and has been FDA-approved for other conditions for decades. In fact, ivermectin is given to 300 million people a year, mostly in Africa and Latin America, as it prevents river blindness, a devastating disease. In the areas it is given out, it is distributed to just about everyone except pregnant women and children under the age of 5. Over the last four decades, ivermectin has been prescribed an estimated 4 BILLION times to people around the world, and side effects are exceedingly rare. Ivermectin is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.
Ivermectin is known as an anti-parasitic drug that kills worms and lice. But it also has been shown to have potent antiviral properties against a wide range of viruses, including the Dengue virus, the West Nile virus, and the Zika virus. And early studies showed it was incredibly potent against SARS-Coronavirus in the test tube, with a single treatment reducing viral DNA to one 5,000th of what it was previously within only 48 hours.
Ivermectin is also a potent anti-inflammatory medication, which could be very important to help fight COVID, since most of the deaths from COVID involve high levels of inflammation.
So what have we seen when the drug has been used in real people? Luckily, we have a wealth of data.
NOW, THE PROOF
There have been 60 published peer-reviewed studies so far testing ivermectin against COVID. These studies have involved almost 19,000 patients and have included more than 30 randomized control trials, published in the scientific literature, the “gold standard” of science. These studies show, almost unanimously, that ivermectin does three things:
1) It prevents people from getting COVID.
2) It treats COVID successfully
3) It helps reduce the suffering of the so-called “long-haul” patients, who are in the process of recovering from COVID.
There is a widely-followed website that collects all of the known studies on ivermectin, publishing links to each of them. This website, C19Ivermectin.com, concludes that all the studies when pooled together, show a possible 70% reduction in mortality from the use of ivermectin.
A recent review article in The Journal of Antibiotics looked at 17 randomized control trials of ivermectin in early and prophylactic (preventative) treatment against COVID and found that 100% of them reported positive effects. If you include another 38 studies that looked at later treatment, 93% of them showed positive effects. Maybe it doesn’t work and it’s just random chance that the studies came out that way? The authors concluded that was highly unlikely, stating “the probability that an ineffective treatment generated results as positive for the 55 studies to date is estimated to be 1 in 23 trillion.”
I don’t blame you if your are reading this in stunned disbelief, since this information about ivermectin has been actively censored by governments, media and social media. As just one example, YouTube has part of its “official” policy that you cannot publish videos promoting ivermectin on its site. It has even deleted Congressional testimony by a leading doctor to a Congressional committee because it is so committed to censoring the news about this drug.
But for now, let’s take a deep dive into the research showing the effectiveness of ivermectin.
One of the earliest reviews of ivermectin was funded in part by the World Health Organization. The study was run by a team an Oxford-trained scientist with 30 years of experience in antiviral trials, Dr. Andrew Hill, Ph.D. The Financial Times trumpeted the Hill study results with this headline: “Cheap antiparasitic could cut chance of COVID-19 deaths by 75%” and that is indeed what they found, although they cautioned that more studies were needed because many of the studies they examined were not of the highest quality.
Since then, at least two other large meta-analyses have supported those conclusions. In May and June of this year, two peer-reviewed meta-analyses published in the American Journal of Therapeutics both concluded that the use of ivermectin was associated with potentially large reductions in mortality and they both supported its use.
The first one, by Dr. Pierre Kory, Dr. Joseph Varon and a team of other doctors, concluded that “Meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 have found large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance.” In other words, ivermectin seems to save lives and speed up people’s recovery.
In a later interview with the journalist Ivory Hecker, Dr. Kory said that study had received a lot of attention in social media and news reports in other countries but had received “exactly zero” mainstream media attention in the United States.
The second meta-analysis, by Dr. Theresa Lawrie, director of the Evidence-based Medicine Consultancy, found that “Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin.”
Critics of ivermectin say that the studies conducted on the drug were overly small or were flawed in one way or another. But that position is increasingly untenable as we now have nearly 19,000 patients who have been involved in these studies, and we have now two peer-reviewed meta-analyses of the data confirming the likelihood of dramatic reductions in COVID mortality if we used ivermectin.