Ivermectin and Azithromycin vs Covid-19: Scientific Findings Not in Favour
Both Azithromycin and Ivermectin have been promoted as useful in the war against Covid-19. However, not only has the promotion been based on speculation and in vitro findings at best, it has resulted in desperate doctors and patients administering the drugs as “treatment” for Covid-19 despite the absence of any actual clinical trial data to validate this.
It is therefore helpful that two recent publications in respected medical journals have provided helpful information on the findings of studies on the two drugs.
The first one, relating to Ivermectin, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the 4th of March, 2021; based on a randomised clinical trial. The authors indicate that their findings were as follows:
In this randomized clinical trial that included 476 patients, the duration of symptoms was not significantly different for patients who received a 5-day course of ivermectin compared with placebo (median time to resolution of symptoms, 10 vs 12 days; hazard ratio for resolution of symptoms, 1.07).Eduardo López-Medina, MD, MSc1,2,3; Pío López, MD1,2; Isabel C. Hurtado, MD2,4; et al
They therefore conclude that, “The findings do not support the use of ivermectin for treatment of mild COVID-19, although larger trials may be needed to understand effects on other clinically relevant outcomes.” At this stage, therefore, there is not yet enough evidence to recommend the use of Ivermectin for treating Covid-19.
The second one, also published on the 4th of March, 2021, related to, “Azithromycin for community treatment of suspected COVID-19 in people at increased risk of an adverse clinical course in the UK.” It was published in the Lancet and reflected the findings of a large-scale randomised trial of interventions against Covid-19 in what has been referred to as the PRINCIPLE trial. Should the reader be interested in reading the full publication, a PDF version of the paper is provided for download immediately below.
As with Ivermectin, the authors report, “We found little evidence of a meaningful benefit in the azithromycin plus usual care group in time to first reported recovery versus usual care alone.”
They also conclude, “Our findings do not justify the routine use of azithromycin for reducing time to recovery or risk of hospitalisation for people with suspected COVID-19 in the community.” In other words, there is not adequate evidence to support the use of Azithromycin for either prophylaxis against or treatment of COVID-19.