Ivermectin: When did this drug surface and for what purpose?

What is Ivermectin?

Ivermectin, per Wikipedia, is a medication used to treat many types of parasite infestations which include:

      • head lice,
      • scabies,
    • river blindness (parasitic worm from black fly bites),
    • strongyloidiasis (human parasitic disease),
    • trichiasis (whipworm infection),
    • ascariasis (infestation with a roundworm ), 
    • lymphatic filariasis (parasitic disease caused by microscopic, thread-like worms).

It can be taken orally or simply applied to the skin for external infestations.

What was it created for?

Ivermectin was discovered in 1975 and came into medical use in 1981. Essentially it is used to treat tropical diseases and is effective in preventing the transmission of malaria.

The World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines includes Ivermectin which is also an FDA -approved anti-parasitic agent.

Veterinary medicine uses this drug to prevention and treat heartworm and infestation with a roundworm.

Ivermectin kills parasites that cause river blindness and elephantiasis; the drug is also effective on intestinal worms. Now ivermectin could be the answer to the growing problem of resistance to antimalarials that are currently used throughout the world to control the mosquito-borne illness.

A few weeks ago, William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura, the scientists who developed Ivermectin, won a Nobel Prize for the research that led to development of the drug, which has vastly reduced transmission of parasitic tropical diseases.

Is it safe?

First understand that side effects relate to the condition that a body is compromised with.  Each condition has it’s own challenges to the body’s biochemistry so side effects will naturally vary by ailment treated. According to the Mayo Clinic, Ivermectin’s side effects depend upon what the medication is aiming to treat, specifically.

So, if a person is on a ivermectin for “river blindness,” some common effects are:

    • Fever, itching or skin rash
    • Joint or muscle pain
    • Painful and tender glands in the neck, armpits or groin
    • rapid heartbeat

If, instead, ivermectin is used in the treatment of strongyloidiasis, the most common symptoms are:

    • Loss of appetite
    • Shaking or trembling
    • Sleepiness

Currently, ivermectin is in it’s preliminary stage of testing against the coronavirus so side effects aren’t yet determined. 

The Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care (FLCCC) recommendation is based on the following set of conclusions derived from the existing data, which will be comprehensively reviewed below:

    1. Since 2012, multiple in-vitro studies have demonstrated that Ivermectin inhibits the replication of many viruses, including influenza, Zika, Dengue and others (19–27).
    2. Ivermectin inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication, leading to absence of nearly all viral material by
      48h in infected cell cultures (28).
    3. Ivermectin has potent anti-inflammatory properties with in-vitro data demonstrating profound inhibition of both cytokine production and transcription of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), the
      most potent mediator of inflammation (29–31).
    4. Ivermectin significantly diminishes viral load and protects against organ damage in multiple
      animal models when infected with SARS-CoV-2 or similar coronaviruses (32, 33). Review of the Emerging Evidence Supporting the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19 [FLCCC Alliance; Updated Dec. 7, 2020] 6 / 28
    5. Ivermectin prevents transmission and development of COVID-19 disease in those exposed to infected patient (34–36,54).
    6.  Ivermectin hastens recovery and prevents deterioration in patients with mild to moderate
      disease treated early after symptoms (37–42,54).
    7. Ivermectin hastens recovery and avoidance of ICU admission and death in hospitalized
      patients (40,43,45,54,63,67).
    8. Ivermectin reduces mortality in critically ill patients with COVID-19 (43,45,54).
    9. Ivermectin leads to striking reductions in case-fatality rates in regions with widespread use
      (46-48).
    10. The safety, availability, and cost of ivermectin is nearly unparalleled given its near nil drug
      interactions along with only mild and rare side effects observed in almost 40 years of use and
      billions of doses administered (49).
    11. The World Health Organization has long included ivermectin on its “List of Essential
      Medicines” (50).

For more details on the study of this drug select the link below:

Review of the Emerging Evidence Supporting the Use of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19 2020-11-28 (covid19criticalcare.com)

More studies on the application of Ivermectin to resolve the challenges of COVID-19

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