- The University of Minnesota will conduct a clinical trial to find out whether ivermectin, along with two other drugs, is effective in treating COVID-19
- Volunteers in the study will be divided into six groups and will each receive $400 for participating
- Ivermectin has gained attention after an Australian study found that it can block the drug in high concentrations.
- The drug is approved by the FDA for human use to treat certain parasite-related conditions, but people have taken overdose using veterinary versions of the drug.
Clinical trials will soon begin in Minnesota to test whether the anti-parasite drug ivermectin is effective in treating COVID-19.
The University of Minnesota Medical School will test the drug along with two others to determine their effectiveness in fighting the virus.
Ivermectin is approved for human use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain parasitic-related conditions, and is routinely available by prescription.
However, many people are harming themselves because they are buying versions of the drug made for large animals such as cows and horses at livestock stores and its consumption is so large that it cannot be considered safe for humans.
The University of Minnesota is conducting a study to determine whether ivermectin, fluvoxamine or metformin are effective in treating COVID-19 (file image)
Ivermectin gained attention on social media when a study found it could inhibit the replication of COVID-19 cells. The drug is approved by the FDA for human use to treat certain parasite-related conditions, but people have taken overdose using veterinary versions of the drug.
researchers are currently recruited participants for the study.
To be eligible, a person must be between 30 and 85 years of age and have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last three days.
People who are currently hospitalized for any reason, or are taking metformin, insulin, sulfonylurea or have heart, kidney disease are not eligible.
As an incentive, $400 will be offered to anyone who participates.
Those selected for the study would be placed into one of six groups, each using a different set of drugs for treatment.
One group will receive ivermectin alone and the other will receive a combination of ivermectin and metformin, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes.
A third group would be given metformin alone, a fourth group would receive fluvoxamine — a drug used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder — and a fifth group would receive a combination of those two drugs.
The sixth and final group will receive a placebo.
Researchers hope that they can either discover new potential treatments for COVID, or describe these drugs as completely ineffective.
All three are already approved by the FDA for human use, though not for viruses.
Ivermectin gained social media attention as a potential COVID treatment after an Australian study found that the drug could inhibit the replication of virus cells.
Timothy Geary, a parasitologist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and one of the world’s leading experts on medicine, explained to DailyMail.com in an interview last month that the study was being misinterpreted.
‘In that study they showed that in cell cultures, ivermectin could inhibit’ [Covid] replication, but the concentrations needed to have that effect were in a range called the micromolar range – very high concentrations relative to what you would find in the plasma of a treated individual or an animal, which would be 20 to 50 times lower,’ he said. .
‘At high concentrations in cell culture, many compounds can have all kinds of effects, but when you look at what we call pharmacological levels – what we actually see and treat patients with – it’s much more than that. Is [what would be used in humans]
‘So the standard doses of ivermectin that we use for people are never going to reach the level that would be effective against the virus based on that one study.’
However, many people have misused the medicine to protect themselves from the virus.
There has been a 24-fold increase in drug prescriptions compared to before the pandemic began, a CDC report found last month.
However, those prescriptions are generally safe, as they are of the human versions of the drug.
Where people run into problems is when they buy veterinary versions of the drug, which come in doses that are safe for humans – and in higher doses.
This has led to an increase in calls for poison control in recent months, and several local and federal officials have issued warnings against the drug’s use.