Antiparasitic drug ivermectin is not a suitable treatment for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that new evidence is still not enough to support the usage of ivermectin to treat Covid-19. 

A study published by the Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America on June 28 assessed the benefits as well as the possible harms brought by using ivermectin on Covid-19 patients. The researchers also looked into both published and preprint randomized controlled trials on ivermectin’s effects on adult and mostly mild Covid-19 cases. The study found that Ivermectin cannot reduce all-cause mortality, length of stay, or clearance in the trials in comparison to standard of care or placebo. 

“Ivermectin did not have an effect on adverse effects or severe adverse effects. Ivermectin is not a viable option to treat COVID-19 patients,” it concluded.

Vergeire noted that the government’s efforts to address the pandemic and recommend treatment are based on scientific studies since it is really important to only use safe and effective medicines. 

“Kung makikita po natin na ang isang gamot ay magiging epektibo para sa Covid-19, hinding hindi po natin pipigilan ang paggamit nito sa ating populasyon,” she said.

“Hanggang sa ngayon po hindi pa natin nakikita base sa siyensya at saka ebidensya na itong ivermectin ay makakapagbigay ng tulong para sa mga taong may Covid-19 dito sa ating bansa,” she added.

The World Health Organization, US FDA, European Medicines Agency, and even ivermectin manufacturer Merck have all debunked claims that ivermectin can treat Covid-19 patients. Ronald Espartinez