In a new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers compared the use of ivermectin vs standard care in reducing the risk of severe disease in patients with COVID-19.
The study was an open-label randomized clinical trial that included a total of 490 patients from 20 government hospitals and COVID-19 quarantine center in Malaysia between May 31 and October 25, 2021.
In Malaysia it is mandatory to notify public health authorities of all COVID-19 cases. Patients with mild to moderate disease at risk of disease progression are referred for hospitalization or admitted to a COVID-19 quarantine center to allow close monitoring for 10 or more days from symptom onset and timely intervention in the event of deterioration.
Study development and results
The ivermectin dose used for each patient in the treatment group was calculated to the nearest 6 mg or 12 mg whole tablets. The first dose of ivermectin was administered after randomization on day 1 of enrollment, followed by 4 doses on days 2 through 5.
Of the 490 patients, 95 progressed to severe disease during the study period, 52 of 241 received ivermectin plus standard care, and 43 of 249 received standard of care alone.
The researchers found no significant difference between ivermectin and control groups. Among patients who progressed to severe disease, the time from study enrollment to the onset of deterioration was similar across ivermectin and control groups.
By day 5 of enrollment, the proportion of patients who achieved complete symptoms resolution was comparable between both groups.
The clinical trial found no evidence that ivermectin was efficacious in reducing the risk of severe disease. The treatment during early illness did not prevent progression to severe disease, which are consistent with the results of the IVERCOR-COVID19 trial, which found that ivermectin was ineffective in reducing the risk of hospitalization.
Steven Chee Loon Lim, et al. Efficacy of Ivermectin Treatment on Disease Progression Among Adults With Mild to Moderate COVID-19 and Comorbidities. JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 18, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2022.0189.