Ivermectin to be Investigated As Possible Treatment for COVID-19

Dawn O'Shea

June 25, 2021

The anti-parasitic drug ivermectin is being investigated in the UK as a possible treatment for COVID-19 in adults, as part of the Platform Randomised Trial of Treatments in the Community for Epidemic and Pandemic Illnesses (PRINCIPLE).

PRINCIPLE is the world’s largest clinical trial of possible COVID-19 treatments for recovery at home and in other non-hospital settings. Led by the University of Oxford, the initiative has so far recruited more than 5,000 volunteers from across the UK.

Professor Chris Butler, from the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Joint Chief Investigator of the PRINCIPLE trial, said: “Ivermectin is readily available globally, has been in wide use for many other infectious conditions so it’s a well-known medicine with a good safety profile, and because of the early promising results in some studies it is already being widely used to treat COVID-19 in several countries. By including ivermectin in a large-scale trial like PRINCIPLE, we hope to generate robust evidence to determine how effective the treatment is against COVID-19, and whether there are benefits or harms associated with its use.”

Participants enrolled in the study will be randomly assigned to receive a three-day course of oral ivermectin. They will be followed-up for 28 days and will be compared with participants who have been assigned to receive the usual standard of NHS care only.

PRINCIPLE has called on “every GP, general practice, primary and social care professional in the country to support patient recruitment”. GP practices, out-of-hours providers and NHS 111 across the country can support the trial by identifying and signposting patients to the study. Information on recruitment is available here.

Ivermectin is the seventh treatment to be investigated in the PRINCIPLE trial, and is currently being evaluated alongside the influenza antiviral, favipiravir.

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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