Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Dec 2:S1201-9712(20)32506-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.11.191. Online ahead of print.
Ivermectin, an FDA-approved anti-parasitic agent, was found in vitro to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication. To determine the rapidity of viral clearance and safety of ivermectin among adult SARS-CoV-2 patients we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral ivermectin alone (12 mg once daily for 5 days) or in combination with doxycycline (12 mg ivermectin single dose and 200 mg stat doxycycline day-1 followed by 100 mg 12hrly for next 4 days) compared with placebo among 72 hospitalized patients in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Clinical symptoms of fever, cough and sore throat were comparable among the three treatment arms. Virological clearance was earlier in the 5-day ivermectin treatment arm versus the placebo group (9.7 days vs. 12.7 days; P = 0.02); but not with the ivermectin + doxycycline arm (11.5 days; P = 0.27). There were no severe adverse drug events recorded in the study. A 5-day course of ivermectin was found to be safe and effective in treating mild COVID-19 adult patients. Larger trials will be needed to confirm these preliminary findings.