Meta-analysis of randomized trials of ivermectin to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection

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Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug being investigated for repurposing against SARS-CoV-2. Ivermectin showed in-vitro activity against SARS-COV-2 at high concentrations. This meta-analysis investigated ivermectin in 24 randomized clinical trials (3328 patients) identified through systematic searches of PUBMED, EMBASE, MedRxiv and trial registries. Ivermectin was associated with reduced inflammatory markers (C-Reactive Protein, d-dimer and ferritin) and faster viral clearance by PCR. Viral clearance was treatment dose- and duration-dependent. In 11 randomized trials of moderate/severe infection, there was a 56% reduction in mortality (Relative Risk 0.44 [95%CI 0.25-0.77]; p=0.004; 35/1064 (3%) deaths on ivermectin; 93/1063 (9%) deaths in controls) with favorable clinical recovery and reduced hospitalization. Many studies included were not peer reviewed and a wide range of doses were evaluated. Currently, WHO recommends the use of ivermectin only inside clinical trials. A network of large clinical trials is in progress to validate the results seen to date.

Open Forum Infectious Diseases, ofab358,
06 July 2021