Ivermectin is a well-known drug that is approved as an antiparasitic by the World Health Organization and it is widely used in treatment for worm infections, scabies and lice.
In April 2020, researchers in Australia published a paper that concludes that Ivermectin is a potential cure for Covid-19.
The paper “Ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro” by Caly et al, was published in the journal Antiviral Research with the conclusion that “a single treatment was able to effect a 5,000x reduction in virus at 48h cell culture”.
Nonetheless, the experiments were carried out on Petri dishes in laboratory and it may have a different result on the human body.
Having that said, the use of Ivermectin as part of the Covid-19 treatment remained largely questionable.
In the Parliament sitting yesterday (27 July), the Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba had said that the drug is currently being tested in 18 general hospitals nationwide. He added that about 500 high-risk patients with mild Covid-19 symptoms will be involved in the clinical trials to gauge the drug’s efficacy and safety.
“So far, about 200 Covid-19 patients have already taken part in the study and the results would be available in September.” he said.
He added that this is the solution the government has when the Dewan Rakyat members questioned him about the government’s action to address the Covid-19 pandemic that is spreading across Malaysia.
During Dr Adham’s presentation, several members of parliament, including R. Sivarasa (PH-Sungai Buloh) interrupted him and requested further clarification on the ministry’s stand on the use of ivermectin to treat Covid-19 patients, where he urge the Member of Parliaments (MP) to wait patiently for the outcome of the randomised clinic
He added that the use of Ivermectin should be submitted to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) for the agency’s approval before being prescribed as a treatment for Covid-19.
Dr Adham also explained that the government-sanctioned trials were important for the ministry to determine whether Ivermectin is safe to use as part of the Covid-19 treatment, given that there are limited data to support the use.
“India, which has previously used the drug (originally for treatment against parasites like worms), has since dropped its usage for Covid-19 treatment.” he said, cited by The Star. Dr Adham also says that the claim of Ivermectin being safe for Covid-19 treatment without trials to back it up was misleading.
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