A new peer-reviewed study published on the New England Journal of Medicine shows anti-parasitic drug ivermectin isn’t effective in battling COVID-19 and did not reduce hospitalization like many anti-vaccine advocates promoted.
The experiment enrolled 3,515 symptomatic COVID-19 patients in Brazil who were randomly assigned different treatments for the disease – 679 received ivermectin, another 670 got placebo and the remaining group got another treatment.
The study found that 14.7% of patients in the ivermectin group and 16.3% of the placebo group had to go to the hospital.
“Treatment with ivermectin did not result in a lower incidence of medical admission to a hospital due to progression of COVID-19 or of prolonged emergency department observation among outpatients with an early diagnosis of COVID-19,” the study concluded.
Ivermectin, a drug that is mainly used to treat parasitic diseases in animals, surged in popularity with a 2,400% increase in prescriptions last year during the wave of the delta variant. Anti-vaccination groups and some Republican politicians promoted the use despite lack of proven evidence to back their claims.
Several doctors, including health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, warned against the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19, due to the rising in prescriptions of the drug.
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Despite the warning, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin continued to advocate for the use of ivermectin. In Indiana, Republican state Rep. Curt Nisly proposed a bill in the state legislature to allow pharmacists to dispense ivermectin to treat COVID-19.