Sunday, February 20, 2022

Latest Ivermectin Study is Inconclusive

CNN reports:
The antiparasitic drug ivermectin doesn't prevent severe disease from Covid-19 any more effectively than symptom management and close observation by medical professionals, according to a study published Friday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

The study enrolled nearly 500 people 50 and older who were at risk of severe Covid-19 because of their age and underlying health. These patients were treated at 20 public hospitals and a quarantine center in Malaysia in 2021. ...

It was a randomized-controlled trial, the gold standard of medical research, in which researchers test an intervention against a placebo.

Convinced? Here is the actual study:
Question Does adding ivermectin, an inexpensive and widely available antiparasitic drug, to the standard of care reduce the risk of severe disease in patients with COVID-19 and comorbidities? ...

Conclusions and Relevance In this randomized clinical trial of high-risk patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, ivermectin treatment during early illness did not prevent progression to severe disease. The study findings do not support the use of ivermectin for patients with COVID-19.

No, this was not a double-blind study, so it was not "gold standard".

Treatments averaged 5.1 days after exposure, so these were late treatments.

Of the 241 patients getting ivermectin, 3 died. 10 of the 249 patient control group died. This significance was 91%, less than the 95% required for the journal to call it statistically significant.

Okay, but ivermectin might have saved 6 out of 10 lives. Sounds like a big potential benefit to me.

This is what is called a null result. No statistically significant conclusions. It does not tell anything about whether to use the drug. Note the carefully worded conclusion, "study findings do not support". That is a tricky way of saying that it tells us nothing.

I take that back. It does tell us something. It is not a miracle drug, and not a killer either. But are you better off getting it if you are hospitalized for covid? It does not tell us.

Here are more studies on ivermectin.

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