• Jun Park

Ivermectin : A sign of hope!

An old drug, with a new use may be arising in the battlefront against this pandemic. Its name, Ivermectin. An antiparasitic used to treat head lice,scabies,river blindness (onchocerciasis), strongyloidiasis, trichuriasis, ascariasis, and lymphatic filariasis.

This drug results are expected to be published sometime this week. But one of the most important things is that this is readily accessible, deployed, approved, and well known drug. With a dosage that is common and already approved as treatment for other causes, this could be a game changer.

On March 29th of 2020, a study published in Antiviral Research an FDA-approved drug Invermectin showed remarkable antiviral properties invitro (in a petri dish).

Although several clinical trials are now underway to test possible therapies, the worldwide 18 response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been largely limited to monitoring / containment. We 19 report here that Ivermectin, an FDA-approved anti-parasitic previously shown to have broad20 spectrum anti-viral activity in vitro, is an inhibitor of the causative virus (SARS-CoV-2), with 21 a single addition to Vero-hSLAM cells 2 hours post infection with SARS-CoV-2 able to 22 effect ~5000-fold reduction in viral RNA at 48 h. Ivermectin therefore warrants further 23 investigation for possible benefits in humans.

Since March, a lot of countries looking for ways to fight this pandemic seem to be close to a real response. Tested in real-world operations, a study in Chile is showing remarkable results to this drug. A short clip (in Spanish) of the explanation:

Doctor Ugarte, Chief of the Critical Care Unit at Clinica Indisa seemed very optimistic of the results of this new viral.

The highlights:

1. A six-fold decrease in mortality when the drug is taken before the virus shows respiratory symptoms.

2. A three-fold decrease in mortality when the drug is taken when connected to a mechanic respirator.

3. Dosage equivalent to on or two doses, the same used to treat lice.

4. Drug is already accessible in the market with wide distribution.

5. Drug is already approved by Health agencies.


It is a bit technical, but to put it in simple English. This drug component sticks to the virus, making it too fat to penetrate the cells, stopping it from using your body to replicate. This means that it stops the spread and continuous damage of the virus, having left only the damage done to treat. (This is an oversimplification trying to explain it easily.)

For those who want to know how the drug works, here is a video explaining the science behind, here's the video explaining it.