Federal Panel Recommends Against Use of Ivermectin to Treat COVID-19

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
May 2, 2022 Updated: May 3, 2022

For the first time, a federal health panel has recommended against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, despite reports that it’s successfully been used to treat the illness.

In a statement published last week, the National Institute of Health’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel said that as the “safety and efficacy of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 have been evaluated in clinical trials and observational cohorts,” it “recommends against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, except in clinical trials.”

Ivermectin, which is generally well-tolerated and has mild side effects, was primarily developed to treat several tropical diseases and parasites, including onchocerciasis, helminthiases, and scabies. But since the start of the pandemic, some COVID-19 patients said they saw positive results after taking the drug. Meanwhile, a Japanese study published in January suggests the drug has an antiviral effect against the Omicron variant, although another clinical, peer-reviewed study found the medication “did not prevent” severe instances of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel said it doesn’t recommend ivermectin after evaluating the “results of several randomized trials and retrospective cohort studies” among COVID-19 patients.

“Most of these studies, especially studies completed earlier in the pandemic,” according to the board, “had incomplete information and significant methodological limitations, which made excluding common causes of bias difficult. Many of these studies have not been peer-reviewed, and some have now been retracted.”

Meanwhile, the panel said there are several drugs that “now have demonstrated clinical benefit for the treatment of COVID-19,” further rendering ivermectin—which is a relatively inexpensive drug—unnecessary.

Over the course of the pandemic, a number of mainstream news outlets described the drug as a “horse dewormer,” despite its decades-long usage among people to treat parasites and other tropical diseases. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also courted controversy with a Twitter post last year that used similar language, amid reports that some people were using the livestock version of the drug.

Despite the federal government’s recommendations against the drug, some states have approved legislation allowing its usage. In March, the New Hampshire Legislature passed a bill allowing its purchase without a prescription. Similar measures are being considered in Alaska, Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Indiana.

“House Republicans sent a clear message today that we support expanding options for the treatment of COVID,” state Rep. Leah Cushman, a Republican, told The Epoch Times at the time.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.