A new study reports that a drug used to cure Scabies has been successful in fighting the novel coronavirus.
Ivermectin is a drug used to cure parasitic infections such as scabies and head lice. Popularly traded under the names Stromectol and Soolantra as both a topical and oral medicine.
It is used in the NHS and US for parasitic infection and termed by the World Health Organization as one of the most effective and safe medications.
Researchers around the world are attempting to find a cure for the life-threatening virus which has thrust the world into a pandemic.
No existing medication appears to be effective on SARS-CoV-2, which is the official name given to the novel coronavirus, but scientists continue to run tests on drugs such as Remdesivir and Favipiravir.One such attempt in Australia has born favorable results.
Scientists from the Royal Melbourne Hospital believe that Ivermectin could be successful against the virus. In the new study, published by Dr. Leon Caly and team, cells were introduced to the SARS-CoV-2 and after 24 hours, were injected with Ivermectin.
In this controlled test-tube setting the drug was able to reduce virus DNA by as much as 93% and within 48 hours Ivermectin was able to remove all traces of the virus in the infected cells. The possibilities these results open are substantial as a successful antiviral could be given to patients early on and limit the progression of the disease as well as its contagion.
Though it is not yet clear exactly how the drug inhibits the virus, it is likely that Ivermectin prevents the virus’s duplication, as explained by Dr. Michael Head, a research fellow at Southampton University.
Dr. Head further explains that Ivermectin primarily overpowers a parasite nervous system which makes it very effective for diseases such as Scabies.
According to Dr. Head there is a huge amount of research going into repurposing existing drugs to combat SARS-CoV-2. Even though Ivermectin has shown effectiveness in a laboratory setting, the effects could vary profusely within a patient and so we must approach these initial findings cautiously as no successful clinical trial has yet been achieved.
We must also be notified of the possibility that many of the existing drugs being tested for effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 may remain ineffective in patients.
What do you think, should this drug be used to treat COVID-19 patients?