S. Africa Discourages Use of Parasite Drug Ivermectin in COVID-19 Patients Outside Trials

Jan 29, 2021

S. Africa Discourages Use of Parasite Drug Ivermectin in COVID-19 Patients Outside Trials

Johannesburg (South Africa), January 29: South Africa's Department of Health has recommended against the use of parasite drug Ivermectin in COVID-19 patients unless it is given in controlled trials, citing a lack of knowledge about its safety and effectiveness in coronavirus treatment.
On Wednesday, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority chief said that ivermectin, which is used to treat parasites in humans and livestock, will be allowed for use on compassionate grounds in a controlled-access program. Zimbabwe is, meanwhile, reported to have approved the parasite drug for COVID-19 treatment.
"Currently, there is insufficient evidence to recommend ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Some studies have suggested that ivermectin may be of benefit of management of COVID-19, however the evidence that is currently available is preliminary and of low quality," the South African health department said on Thursday.
According to the press release, the existing studies vary widely in terms of the severity of the disease in participants and medicines with which ivermectin was compared or combined.
A health worker holds a COVID-19 sample collection kit of a vaccine trials' volunteer, after they were tested for the coronavirus disease and take part in the country's human clinical trial for potential vaccines at the Wits RHI Shandukani Research Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 27, 2020.
The department stressed that a special COVID-19 drug task force will continue to review and amend recommendations as new data becomes available.
"In the meantime, we discourage the use of ivermectin outside of well-conducted randomised controlled trials," the department added.
With over 1.4 million confirmed cases, South Africa has the largest COVID-19 tally on the continent.
Source: Sputnik