In the pharmaceutical industry, there are pretty lots of medications that have many myths around them. Some are trialled for different indications rather than their first-lines, while others are banned due to a number of severe side effects. The same concerns medications that are intended for both animals, and humans, but the latter group of patients can benefit the most thanks to numerous research. One of such modalities is Stromectol (Ivermectin) which is not a regular medication to treat parasite infections. Learn more facts about it below.
Why is Stromectol a Revolutionary Medication?
Stromectol or its generic Ivermectin is a drug most commonly prescribed to treat the symptoms of certain parasite infections including Strongyloidiasis of the intestinal tract, and Onchocerciasis. It can be used as a sole first-line modality, or in conjunction with other drugs to get the best therapeutic effect. It belongs to the anthelmintic group of medications.
The research behind Stromectol:
- Nobel Prize in Psychology and Medicine
In 2015, the Nobel Prize was awarded to Youyou Tu, William C. Campbell as well as Satoshi Omura for their contributions, and discoveries regarding novel therapies against malaria, and roundworm infections. The therapies predetermined the use of Avermectin, a derivative of Ivermectin and Arteminisin. They are today used in all the parts of the world where parasitic plagues are blossoming. Another concern that helped consider Ivermectin as a revolutionary modality is that it is linked to few side effects compared to its counterparts. Ivermectin has been proved to be effective with River Blindness/Lymphatic Filariasis the way these diseases are expected to eradicate in the near future.
- Known as the first endectocide
The origin of the medication is related to the 70’s’, Tokyo Japan where it was first called a wonder drug. Ivermectin has been classified as the first endectocide, a parent to a new class of antiparasitic drugs effective for a myriad of internal and external arthropods. It was developed thanks to a partnership of Tokyo’s research group at Kitasato Institute, and a US pharmaceutical company. After the first trials, it was promoted as a product for Animal Health only. After that, the research was also focused on human application. Ivermectin was discovered to help people with Onchocerciasis since 1988, and then, with Strongyloidiasis, Ascariasis, cutaneous larva migrans, filariasis, Gnathostomiasis and Trichuriasis, and, on some occasions — Pediculosis (lice infestation) and scabies (mite infestation).
- Stromectol’s approval for Canadians
Starting from 2018, the Canadian government approved Stromectol for use as a standard-of-care modality to treat intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis due to the global risk of growing parasite infections. The approval particularly concerned the pharmaceutical formula developed by Merck, a recognized biopharmaceutical group.
- A modality to affect the Covid-19
Like many other medications, Ivermectin was picked for research regarding the treatment of COVID symptoms and showed some results. Key findings of the research are the following:
- The trials and studies were performed in monkey cells and showed that Ivermectin has had the potential to stop the virus linked to causing COVID from growing in their cells;
- Even though the effectiveness was proved, and thanks to a huge hyper over the medication on social media, it is still unclear whether it can be the same effective for humans;
- Even though Ivermectin showed to reduce the risk of COVID infection, there were several factors that could influence the treatment too including the involvement of other medications, one’s predisposition, and tolerability among others;
- There were some results that showed Ivermectin helpless and trialled participants died due to the severity of the infection which was not manageable by all the involved modalities;
Relying on the World Health Organization (the WHO), there are currently around 16 trials ongoing on the effectiveness of Ivermectin against the COVID infection. Yet, they all share the same pitfalls. First off, Ivermectin is trialled in conjunction with other modalities which makes it impossible to speak of its efficacy as a sole agent. Then, those studies have low numbers of involved participants and poor study designs. Finally, the studies majorly involve low dosing regimens. Therefore, many independent professionals in the pharmaceutical industry are against Ivermectin because of lacking data, and evidence of its benefits.
- A miracle drug that is dispensed with prescription only
Despite numerous claims about its wide availability and efficacy for parasite infections, one cannot buy it OTC without showing a pharmacy a valid doctor’s prescription. As for the prices of this marketed drug, they are not so exorbitant. As of now, you can pay approximately $79 for a supply of 20, 3 mg oral tablets.
- It was used off-label in India despite warnings issued by the WHO
It is necessary to say that Ivermectin is a medication to be used against the symptoms of COVID infection only in medical TRIALS. However, India used it off-label to treat coronavirus patients, and just for prophylaxis of it, and the doctors behind this decision spoke about significant results. The medication has been distributed to patients under home isolation. The doctors confirmed that during the 9 months of taking Ivermectin there were little to no major side effects reported.
According to Dr Surya Kant:
“The drug is being majorly used for the treatment of COVID-19 …in all mild cases of the disease. … we have not used the drug in severe cases. … healthcare workers shifted from the prophylaxis of hydroxychloroquine to Ivermectin. … we observed that 17 percent of healthcare workers using hydroxychloroquine developed one or another kind of side effects,”.
As per the doctor, the usage of the medication will be still ongoing for COVID patients, the same as trials where 8 of them are scheduled in India only.
Finally, there are also continuous promotions of Stromectol (Ivermectin) by Filipino politicians who claim it as an effective medication to stop the spread of COVID, and treatment of its symptoms.
Note, regardless of the research and benefits found on social media, and other Internet sources, Ivermectin is primarily beneficial for parasites infection treatment only. As per the WHO, and FDA, Ivermectin can be used to affect the COVID infection ONLY in trials and nowhere else.
More information about Ivermectin:
- Product page
- Uses of Ivermectin for Dogs, Cats, and Goats
- Ivermectin Forms: Tablets, Cream, Injections
The information in this article is presented exclusively for educational purposes. It cannot be viewed or used as a substitute for personalized medical consultation with a doctor. It’s important to remember that every drug has contraindications and can cause adverse reactions. To avoid the possibility of this, you have to talk to a medical specialist who can find the right drug for you and choose an appropriate dosage. We are not responsible for the information provided in this article, and you should learn more about Ivermectin during your visit to a specialist.