the efficacy of ivermectin is not scientifically proven

, published on Thursday January 14, 2021 at 10:09 am

Many publications shared on social networks around the world present ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, as a proven treatment for Covid-19, or even a “miracle” cure. But this is misleading: to date, its effectiveness has not been demonstrated, explained several experts and institutions.

Ivermectin is a drug – for veterinary and human use – used against parasites, such as scabies, river blindness (onchocerciasis) or even lice.

However, if an Australian study published in April 2020 observed an in vitro (laboratory) efficacy of ivermectin on the Sars-CoV-2 virus, its efficacy in humans has not yet been demonstrated because it is not There is no sufficiently strong scientific evidence, the trials being limited in scope and with many biases.

And very often, the results in vitro cannot be transposed to humans, in particular because we cannot administer the same drug concentrations.

“The + miracle drug + ivermectin. It is not toxic. I think it is a gift from God to save the human race from Covid-19”, says for example this Facebook post in Korean, while we find publications in Brazil, South Africa …

In France, in mid-December, a website promoting so-called “alternative” therapies and regularly relaying infox, wrongly asserted that “all the scientific evidence shows the effectiveness of ivermectin”.

In the United States, the drug is vigorously defended by doctors united in a group called “Front line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance” (FLCCC). Its figurehead is Dr. Pierre Kory who went to say that its effectiveness was proven, before a committee of the US Senate in early December.

– Rhetoric –

Allegations around ivermectin have been particularly successful in recent months in Latin America, to the point that AFP has already published several articles on the subject in Spanish and Portuguese explaining that it was not a proven treatment against Covid.

Again on January 5, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who in recent months had already promoted another drug with unproven anti-Covid efficacy, hydroxychloroquine, himself made himself the apostle of ivermectin on Twitter.

Inexpensive, already often used particularly in certain countries with weakened health systems, ivermectin also shares several points in common with hydroxychloroquine, another antiparasitic defended tooth and nail by some doctors and politicians, although its effectiveness has not been proven and a large clinical trial has even concluded that there are no effects.

Very often, we find the same rhetoric, according to which they are deliberately ignored by the authorities because they are not profitable for the pharmaceutical industry.

On the France Soir site, a text also intends to denounce the “scandalous indifference to the proven effectiveness of ivermectin” against the Covid.

And the voices that promote it today are partly the same as those who defended hydroxychloroquine, as, in France, MP Martine Wonner, for example.

– “Inconclusive” studies –

French eurosceptics Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, François Asselineau and Florian Philippot on January 7 asked the Minister of Health Olivier Véran for information on possible treatments for Covid-19, citing hydroxychloroquine, vitamin D and ivermectin.

In fact, “most recent clinical studies (made public) on the subject are inconclusive, the vast majority are either preprints not validated by their peers or, when published, studies with methodological biases making the results difficult. interpretable and do not allow conclusions to be drawn “, summarizes the French Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics

The American Medicines Agency (FDA), its South African counterpart (SAHPRA) or the Mexican health authorities have also publicly stated that ivermectin was not considered an anti-Covid treatment, due to the lack of reliable and solid scientific data.

As for Unitaid, an international drug purchasing organization for poor countries which is closely monitoring any potential treatment for the pandemic, it believes that there are “promising preliminary data” but that “we must wait for the results of other tests “before deciding on possible new steps.

“If you want to be 100% sure of the effectiveness of a drug, you need results of randomized controlled trials of larger scale” than what is currently available, also explained to AFP Professor Kim Woo-joo , Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases at Korea University Hospital in Seoul.

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