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Ivermectin, kills headlice and also coronavirus in a few early trials

Remember the Japanese wonder drug Ivermectin that killed Coronavirus in the lab? Some trials on patients in Bangladesh and the US are showing some promise. This is the drug I called “sheep dip” (but which is really more of a cow or horse drench now). It’s famous for stopping River Blindness and saving the eyesight of thousands. It’s also used against  roundworms, lungworms, mites, lice, scabies and hornflies, as well as cattle-ticks. So it’s another drug, like hydroxycholoroquine that has been road tested for safety’s sake up the kazoo.

The cost of Ivermectin is around 15c in the third world, and $50 for one round for a human in New York.  (But even that is a lot cheaper than a $5000 a day ICU bed.)

As I said — there may come a day when you can cure coronavirus and treat the kids headlice at the same time.  Handy.

So it’s good to know some trials are occurring, and even better to know that some doctors are very enthusiastic about the results. In terms of medical clinical trials, these are small. I’m not sure the enthusiasm is matched by the data. I’d only say “it’s not dead yet”. But in terms of drug testing, that’s an achievement. Here’s hoping it can live up to these plans.

[UPDATE: Some readers missed the meaning in the paragraph above, so I bolded it. If anyone thinks I’m raving about these small anecdotal reports, read the line above . – Jo]

But if Coronavirus can be treated with a common mass produced, safety tested chemical, some Big Vaccine makers might not be as enthusiastic.

Breakthrough drug Ivermectin shows “astounding” results

Friday 22nd May,  David Patten, NewsMax

Reports Friday from multiple trials in the United States and abroad indicate a drug already approved by the FDA to treat parasitic infections is showing “astounding” results, and could represent a breakthrough in efforts to vanquishing the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the heart of the global pandemic.

Emergency medical physician Dr. Peter H. Hibberd, M.D., of Palm Beach County, Florida, told Newsmax Friday evening in an exclusive interview that he’s optimistic the drug will prove to be an important therapeutic advance, although he expects more trials will be needed before it wins FDA approval for use as a COVID-19 medication.

“There’s a common denominator here,” said Hibberd. “This drug is salvaging people from their death bed.”

In some cases, doctors reported just one dose of ivermectin markedly improved a patient’s condition. U. S. patients received a single oral dose, and some of them received a booster dose seven days later. The FDA-approved dose for parasitic infections was used.


Bangladesh medical team says Ivermectin with antibiotic Doxycycline works to treat COVID-19 patients

“We have got astounding results. Out of 60 COVID-19 patients, all recovered as the combination of the two drugs were applied”, said Professor Dr Md Tarek Alam, the head of medicine department at private Bangladesh Medical College Hospital (BMCH).

My team was prescribing the two medicines only for coronavirus patients, most of them initially reporting with respiratory problems with related complaints, later to be tested COVID-19 positive, he said.

Bangladesh has so far reported 20,995 coronavirus cases. A total of 314 people have lost their lives in the country due to the disease.

The death rate in Bangladesh then is around 1.4% of known cases. No clues there either.

ICMR to review ‘wonder’ drug combo used to treat Covid patients in Bangladesh

According to doctors in Bangladesh, the combination of ivermectin and doxycycline is an effective treatment against Covid-19, with patients recovering within four days.

h/t Keith Harrison, Bill in Oz, Chad, Dave in the states, NezySquared, Another Ian.

 UPDATE: The early lab tests implied we would need to use Ivermectin at an impossibly high dose to get the effect we want. After the Monash paper suggested the drug was reducing viral titres by 5,000 fold, another paper quickly replied that the approved dose of Ivermectin [would] not [be] useful in treating Covid-19. That headline desperately needed a verb of some sort. I added the “would be” which tells the audience that this response came from modeling and estimates, not from any patient data. It’s a theoretical response, not an observed one. It’s a lesson that in humans, we just have to do the testing in vivo.  h/t Peter F


Caly, L. et al (2020) The FDA-approved Drug Ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitrohttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2020.104787

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