Ivermectin Shown Ineffective in Treating COVID-19



As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect millions globally, the search for effective treatments remains a top priority. One Ivermectol drug that has sparked considerable interest and debate is Ivermectin 12mg, an antiparasitic medication traditionally used to treat various parasitic infections. Despite initial optimism and widespread media attention, recent studies have shown that ivermectin is ineffective in treating COVID-19. This article explores the background, research findings, and current consensus regarding the use of ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment.

Background on Ivermectin

Ivermectin has been used for decades to treat parasitic infections in both humans and animals. Approved by the FDA for treating conditions such as onchocerciasis (river blindness) and strongyloidiasis, it is also used off-label for other parasitic infections. Ivermectin works by binding to proteins in the parasites, causing paralysis and death. Its discovery earned the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015 due to its significant impact on global health.

Initial Interest in Ivermectin for COVID-19

Interest in ivermectin as a potential COVID-19 treatment began in April 2020, when researchers from Monash University in Australia published a study demonstrating that ivermectin inhibited the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in vitro (in a laboratory setting). This study reported a 99.8% reduction in viral RNA within 48 hours of treatment. Despite these promising results, it is crucial to note that the concentrations of ivermectin used in vitro were much higher than those achievable in humans with standard dosing.

Clinical Trials and Studies

Following the initial in vitro study, numerous clinical trials were conducted worldwide to evaluate ivermectin’s effectiveness in treating COVID-19 in humans. However, the results have been largely disappointing.

  1. The Together Trial: One of the most comprehensive studies was the Together Trial, a large randomized controlled trial conducted in Brazil. This trial included over 1,500 patients and found no significant difference in the outcomes of those treated with ivermectin compared to those who received a placebo. Specifically, ivermectin did not reduce the risk of hospitalization or prevent the progression to severe disease.
  2. The PRINCIPLE Trial: Conducted by the University of Oxford, the PRINCIPLE Trial also investigated the use of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients. The trial concluded that ivermectin did not significantly reduce the duration of symptoms or prevent hospitalizations in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
  3. Meta-Analyses and Systematic Reviews: Various meta-analyses and systematic reviews, which combine data from multiple studies to provide a more comprehensive understanding, have also found insufficient evidence to support the use of ivermectin for COVID-19. These reviews often highlight the poor quality and small sample sizes of many of the initial studies that suggested a benefit.

Health Authority Guidelines

Based on the current body of evidence, major health authorities have issued guidelines against the use of ivermectin for treating COVID-19 outside of clinical trials.

  • World Health Organization (WHO): The WHO reviewed data from 16 randomized controlled trials involving over 2,400 participants and concluded that the evidence on ivermectin was of very low certainty. As a result, the WHO does not recommend its use for COVID-19 treatment except in the context of a clinical trial.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): The FDA has explicitly warned against the use of ivermectin for COVID-19, particularly stressing the dangers of self-medicating with veterinary formulations of the drug. The FDA maintains that ivermectin should only be used for its approved indications and under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
  • European Medicines Agency (EMA): The EMA similarly advises against the use of ivermectin for COVID-19, highlighting the lack of conclusive evidence and potential risks associated with its use.

Safety Concerns

While ivermectin is generally safe when used at approved doses for parasitic infections, its use at higher doses or for unapproved indications can pose significant risks. Common side effects of ivermectin include dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and skin rash. At higher doses, more severe side effects such as hypotension, seizures, liver injury, and even death can occur.

Reports of individuals self-medicating with ivermectin, particularly veterinary formulations, have raised serious safety concerns. These products are not designed for human use and can lead to overdose and toxicity. The FDA has issued multiple warnings to dissuade the public from using ivermectin intended for animals.

Alternatives and Effective Treatments

While ivermectin has not proven effective against COVID-19, several other treatments have shown benefit and received emergency use authorization or full approval.

  1. Antiviral Medications: Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that has been shown to reduce the duration of hospitalization in severe COVID-19 cases.
  2. Monoclonal Antibodies: Treatments such as casirivimab and imdevimab (REGEN-COV) have been effective in preventing the progression of mild to moderate COVID-19 to severe disease in high-risk patients.
  3. Corticosteroids: Dexamethasone has been demonstrated to reduce mortality in patients with severe COVID-19 requiring supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
  4. Vaccines: The development and widespread deployment of COVID-19 vaccines have been the most effective measures in reducing severe disease, hospitalizations, and deaths related to COVID-19. Vaccination remains the cornerstone of public health efforts to control the pandemic.


Despite initial hopes and widespread attention, ivermectin has not proven to be an effective treatment for COVID-19. Rigorous clinical trials and comprehensive reviews by health authorities have consistently shown that ivermectin does not significantly improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients. Instead, the focus should remain on proven treatments and preventive measures, particularly vaccination, to combat the pandemic.

Public health decisions must be grounded in robust scientific evidence to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals. Patients and healthcare providers are urged to rely on treatments that have been thoroughly evaluated and shown to be effective, rather than on unproven and potentially harmful alternatives. The continued emphasis on evidence-based practices will be essential in overcoming the challenges posed by COVID-19 and future public health threats.