A medic collects swab from the mouth of a woman resident for COVID-19 test in a containment zone at Kurla, Mumbai, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. | PTI
A medic collects swab from the mouth of a woman resident for COVID-19 test in a containment zone at Kurla, Mumbai | PTI
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New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country’s apex medical research body, is reviewing the benefits of drugs ivermectin and doxycycline as potential therapy for Covid-19. The combination of these two drugs has been hailed by doctors in Bangladesh for yielding “astounding results”.

“We are closely studying the drug ivermectin and its possible efficacy against Covid19. It needs to be studied more closely,” Nivedita Gupta, senior scientist at ICMR, told ThePrint.

Ivermectin is a US Food and Drug Administration-approved anti-parasite drug used to treat some parasitic worms, while doxycycline is an antibiotic.

On 19 May, a team of doctors from Bangladesh claimed that their research on the combination of these two drugs “yielded astounding results” in curing patients with acute symptoms of Covid-19.

“Out of 60 COVID-19 patients, all recovered as the combination of the two drugs were applied”, Professor Dr Md Tarek Alam, the head of medicine department at the Bangladesh Medical College Hospital (BMCH) told news agency PTI.

Meanwhile, according to Gupta, ICMR has reviewed the drug multiple times.

“In in-vitro studies it has shown effectiveness but there are no studies on human beings,” she said.

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“We are continuously studying the evolution of the use of this drug in the treatment protocol of Covid19 patients. However, we need solid evidence or a published study, backed by statistically significant data on a bigger sample size to conclude anything,” she added.


Also read: Why researchers are questioning Lancet study that linked HCQ to higher Covid death risk


Bangladesh’s ‘wonder’ drug combination

The Bangladeshi doctors claimed that the efficacy of the ivermectin-doxycycline drug combination is quite high and it has helped in the recovery of patients afflicted with Covid-19 within four days. They also claimed that “there were no side effects” of this treatment.

“The repeated or second tests, in line with the procedure, reconfirmed them COVID-19 negative in all the cases under the research which found the combination to have no side effects on patients either,” Dr Alam was quoted as saying.

“We are hundred per cent hopeful about the effectiveness of the combination,” he added.

Ivermectin part of several studies in India 

According to government portal Clinical Trials Registry India (CTRI), ivermectin is part of at least five ongoing trials in the country.

Max Hospital has registered a trial to study the effectiveness of ivermectin with ‘standard of care treatment versus standard of care treatment for Covid-19 cases’.

Another trial, registered by the Department of Medicine of Lady Hardinge Medical College in Delhi, will study the effects of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, ciclesonide, a drug used to treat asthma, and ivermectin in the treatment of moderate Covid-19 illness.

The trial is divided into four parts — three for each medicine and one for standard care. “A sample size of 30 in each arm is proposed to be included over a period of 6 months. Trial drugs would be withdrawn if they deteriorate to severe Covid-19 illness,” noted the details of the trial.


Also read: Behind Telangana’s rising Covid numbers, low testing and violations of ICMR, HC orders


 

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21 Comments Share Your Views

21 COMMENTS

  1. Ivermectin is effective in covid 19 is proven without side effects . Also most economical way of treatment why not try as a prophylactic drug for all flu related patients & worries staff. New antivirals still not prove & treatment costs not affordable to poor countries like India in

  2. Think it is very telling that absolutely no news media in the USA has mentioned this. Our family has used ivermectin to treat horses, ourselves and dogs for years. Because it is safe and has treated other diseases around the world in children it seems like a tried, true and intelligent way to save lives.

  3. Dear Editor,

    I have great respect for The print and I hope tbis story is followed up on a daily basis,with updates shared. Else India will be shoved down with expensive and useless drug such as Remidisvir.

  4. IVERMECTIN

    Times Of India published two reports on 21st and 22th May praising Rendesivir and Favipiravir, two antivirals. Mainstream media worldwide are promoting these drugs of big pharma companies; however, most, if not all, antivirals are of questionable efficacy. No one is promoting IVERMECTIN, a cheap oral drug, prescribing which against COVID19 doctors from many nations, including Bangladesh, got EXCELLENT results. No one is interested in promoting this off patented molecule.

    Scientists could not fabricate vaccines against all and every pathogenic Virus; most probably, COVID19 is one of such type. Monoclonal antibody against viral proteins, however, is a good treatment plan for serious indoor patients.

    NO MASK, NO SOCIAL DISTANCING, NO QUARANTINE, NO LOCKDOWN, WILL BE ABLE TO SAVE HUMANITY FROM COVID19. IVERMECTIN, HCQS, AND HERD IMMUNITY DUE TO SUBCLINICAL INFECTION IN COMMUNITY AT LARGE WOULD SAVE US.

    Many oft used drugs, like HCQS, prolong Q-T interval; prolongation of Q-T in ECG tracing occasionally leads to life threatening arrhythmias. Regulatory bodies, those instruct clinicians regarding what to do and what not to do, discouraged use of HCQS against COVID19 on this ground. If the patient is free from pre-existing cardiac ailments, there is no chance of fatal arrhythmias in COVID19 patients on HCQS.

    Objection against use of IVERMECTIN for treating COVID19 is that – there is only in vitro reports for it. In fact, since first week of April 2020, many reports have come up showing excellent results in treating COVID19 parents with IVERMECTIN. IVERMECTIN has immense curative and preventive role against COVID19.

    Fight against COVID19

    To fight against COVID19 India has to chalk out her own plan; we should not ape other nations. There would be serious socio-economic disaster in India if we continue total or partial lockdown. Most of the COVID19 infected patients in India are asymptomatic; and this might be due to presence of Curcumin in our daily food. So, it is very difficult to determine patient- load in India; we can not test for COVID19 in all persons under the Sun.

    Asymptomatic persons would refuse testing and any form of treatment – they would roam freely in society; and would infect the population at large; and this will in near future usher in HERD IMMUNITY in India. Most of the symptomatic patients present with mild to moderate illness; we should treat them as OPD patients. We have to treat these patients with mild-to-moderate Flu-like symptoms as quickly as possible; so that, they do not become severely ill to overwhelm the scarce indoor facilities in our country. Here is a safe outdoor treatment plan that will show quick and effective response in symptomatic patients (for adults): – Vitamin D & C and Zinc daily in usual recommend doses + Virostatic drug Ivermectin 12mg daily for 3 to 5 days + Senolytic antibiotic Azithromycin 250mg to 500mg daily for 5 days to 10 days. This treatment plan ushers in prompt response. Serious indoor patients would get these medicines + necessary supportive measures + Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate (HCQS). – Arun Kumar Laha 29, Abinash Banerjee Lane. Howrah 711104. (laha.a53@gmail.com)

    Disclaimer: –

    This is not a prescription for general public to self- medicate themselves. It is for medical fraternity to think about my humble suggestion.

    To solve the problems of COVID 19, lockdown is not the only way out; we have to rely on development of HERD IMMUNITY by exposing people to low grade infection with COVID19 and we have to treat the symptomatic patients as fast as possible, to cut short the number of serious patients requiring indoor treatment.

    Many health- care personnel and other fighters against COVID19 are losing their lives to save the humanity at large; ICMR should think about prescribing IVERMECTIN (12mg in empty stomach once in a week instead of Hydroxychloroquine) to these persons as preventive measure. Ivermectin is safer than Hydroxychloroquine.

  5. AS PER INDIAN TRIALS HOW MUCH IVERMECTIC IS USEFUL FOR COVID 19 PATIENTS,WHETHER THIS DRUG IS BENEFICIAL
    NIRMAL

  6. I spoke to one of my friend in South America. He also confirmed that they have been asked to take Ivermectin drops post they find the symptoms of Corona .People have recovered and many hospitals and Drs are also advising the same there. I think it needs to be studied in India also .

  7. Why don’t ICMR take fast decisions in this matter.
    Ivermectine is a magical medicine but Indian government doesn’t want to try it very soon.
    How foolish this is!
    Please share more and more update about that medicine .

  8. You are right.
    ICMR should try this medicine.
    It’s time to take fast decisions.
    I don’t know what is strategy of icmr and Indian government.

  9. You are right.
    ICMR should try this medicine.
    It’s time to take fast decisions.
    I don’t know what is strategy of icmr and Indian government.

  10. There is unfortunately so little publicity on this breakthrough in world media. Don’t we want an effective cure early?

    • The pharma industry can’t make billions if this cure is true. That’s why the media and government across the world are quite

      • Your comments make real sense. I agree ivermectin is not a experimental drug. It’s a safe drug being used for years. People are losing lives. Mortality figures are going up day by day. What more research ICMR is planning?
        Do they have any roadmap? Common act fast.

    • Dear Prateek,
      ICMR has said it is reviewing the benefits of ivermectin, but there has been no solid evidence or a published study yet, backed by statistically significant data. Keep watching this space for updates.

  11. ICMR should go to Bangladesh to check for themselves whether their claim is right or wrong. How lethargic are ICMR officials. It is almost one week now that Bangladesh doctors have claimed cent percent results within four days of administering drug on acute covid patients without any side effects. What is stopping ICMR to try out in India for use of known drugs. You make some test tube trials and think that your responsibility is over. Thousands are suffering and dying for non availability of real drug. And now when a break through comes from neighbour country, you take it easy.

    • Bangladesh’s recovery rate is currently around 21%. It is almost 2 weeks back they announced the medicines that improved the recovery rate, but 21% looks less. Around the world scientists, doctors, biologists, chemists are eagerly working to fix this issue. Certain trials work for some set of people & may not for other group. They keep sharing data so that someone else could improve upon their findings/analysis. This is ongoing effort. No one is lethargic. Keep watching the recovery rate of Bangladesh.
      Thanks.

      • 21% recovery rate sounds not good. But do you know what was the recovery rate prior to the introduction of ivermectin? We can make a quantitative analysis only then.

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