Amid widespread use of Ivermectin for treatment of Covid-19 infections in India, World Health Organisation has advised against the general use of the anti-parasite drug except for clinical trials.
“Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. WHO recommends against use of ‘ivermectin’ for COVID-19 except within clinical trials,” Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, tweeted.
— Soumya Swaminathan (@doctorsoumya) May 10, 2021
A similar warning has also been issued by German healthcare and life sciences giant Merck, whose statement Dr Swaminathan attached to her tweet. Merck said its scientists continue to “carefully examine findings of all available and emerging studies of ‘ivermectin’ for treatment of COVID-19”.
“We do not believe the data available support the safety and efficacy of ‘ivermectin’ beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information,” Merck said.
Notably, this is the second time UN body has warned against general use of the anti-parasite drug.In March it said there is “very low certainty of evidence” of the drug’s effect on mortality or hospital admission.
“We currently lack persuasive evidence of a mechanism of action for ‘ivermectin’ in COVID-19, and any observed clinical benefit would be unexplained,” the WHO said then.
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The WHO’s warning comes amidst Goa health minister’s announcement to give the oral drug to all adults, irrespective of their vaccination status, to prevent complications arising out of Covid-19 infection.All adults in Goa will be given Ivermectin, irrespective of their vaccination status, to prevent complications arising out of Covid-19 infection, the satte health minister Vishwajit Rane said
“I have given instructions for immediate implementation of prophylaxis (action taken to prevent disease) treatment,” Rane said.
“People will be given Ivermectin 12mg for a period of five days. Expert panels from the UK, Italy, Spain and Japan, found a large, statistically significant reduction in mortality, recovery time, and viral clearance in Covid-19 patients treated with Ivermectin,” Rane said on Monday.