Ivermectin – A wonder drug or not!

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Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum anti-parasitic agent but has demonstrated antiviral activity against DNA and RNA-based viruses. Since we know that Coronavirus is an RNA virus, then this drug should be a solution but the reality is different. Ivermectin surely offers promising potential in mitigating SARS-CoV-2 or Coronavirus infection but not before we understand it completely and apply it to humans in the correct form.

It is agreed by medical fertility that beyond its invaluable therapeutic role as anti-parasitic, increasing evidence shows it is a potential antiviral agent. The drug is already under use for various diseases from viruses such as West Nile virus, ZIKA, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and many more. Studies are already on to use Ivermectin against Covid-19. However, there are various factors that one has to keep in mind before using the drug.

How this drug may work is still under investigation however it is believed that this broad-spectrum anti-viral drug causes an ionic imbalance which results in disrupting the viral membrane. This results in threatening the integrity, multiplying capability and functionality of the virus. To understand what this means, we need to know our enemy, the Coronavirus. It replicates rapidly and triggers an amplified immune response leading to severe inflammation in the pulmonary tract. As the infection progresses, it damages the alveolar tubes and can lead to death. We have seen that in moderate and severe infection cases the viral load in the upper respiratory tract and bronchoalveolar fluid are on the much higher side.

Covid-19 therapy also requires the intervention of a suitable anti-inflammatory drug to prevent acute lung injury. Ivermectin has been shown to mitigate skin inflammations and is expected to play a significant supportive role for overall treatment while facing hostile infection micro-environment.

Despite the above promises we need to understand what is stopping us from going all out with Ivermectin. Let us know a few things:-

  1. The medicine is almost insoluble in water. Hence a very small percentage of the dose administered reaches the bloodstream. However, administering a higher dosage to increase the presence of the drug in the blood is not advisable and dangerous.
  2. There are no injections or any other delivery mechanism available except oral intake. This is not only inadequate but also infective.
  3. The medicine is also used in animals. Remember the animal medicine is different than humans. Even the human dosage is different and is based on various aspects such as weight, age, gender, infection, etc. Self-medication is completely not advisable. It can lead to further complications.
  4. Pulmonary and nasal administration is more result-oriented in Covid-19 cases. Here the bypassing of oral medication’s metabolism leads to a higher dosage available to the body to fight. However, inhalation protocols and medication is yet to be established.
  5. The drug currently being used is not available under nanoformulations. Although nanoformulations have been researched to have crossed the intestinal epithelial layer, leading to higher dosage available in the bloodstream, the success in ZIKA therapy or other viruses may be accepted but not in the case of Coronavirus.
  6. The pulmonary delivery needs an even smaller size so that it can reach airways and alveolar tubes thereby depositing and getting absorbed. Once this method is researched, the drug release will trigger and accelerate therapeutic activity.
  7. Your doctor is in a better position to decide the use of Ivermectin in its current form weighing against the stage of illness and balancing the side effects with the benefits. Remember that to get the benefit of the drug, it may be required to be administered in high dosage which is prohibitory and can be life-threatening if not done under medical advice and supervision.
    The summary of the facts above clearly gives out the fact that Ivermectin is surely a promising drug to fight Covid-19 however the delivery methods available currently render the medicine useless in most cases. Administering the medicine without contracting infection or self-medication at home is counterproductive. From the researches, it has already been brought out that the medicine finds its way into the bloodstream with great difficulty. Taking a few tablets or dosages without suitable consideration of age, weight, gender, and infection stage is nothing but a placebo. In fact, if someone overdose, it may lead to complications in treating Covid-19.

2 thoughts on “Ivermectin – A wonder drug or not!

  1. Thankyou for the blog. It cleared lot of what is being spoken about the medicine.
    We will definitely use it only after our doctors recommendation.

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