Cureus. 2022 Aug 31;14(8):e28624. doi: 10.7759/cureus.28624. eCollection 2022 Aug.
Background We have previously demonstrated that ivermectin used as prophylaxis for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), irrespective of the regularity, in a strictly controlled citywide program in Southern Brazil (Itajaí, Brazil), was associated with reductions in COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality rates. In this study, our objective was to determine if the regular use of ivermectin impacted the level of protection from COVID-19 and related outcomes, reinforcing the efficacy of ivermectin through the demonstration of a dose-response effect. Methods This exploratory analysis of a prospective observational study involved a program that used ivermectin at a dose of 0.2 mg/kg/day for two consecutive days, every 15 days, for 150 days. Regularity definitions were as follows: regular users had 180 mg or more of ivermectin and irregular users had up to 60 mg, in total, throughout the program. Comparisons were made between non-users (subjects who did not use ivermectin), and regular and irregular users after multivariate adjustments. The full city database was used to calculate and compare COVID-19 infection and the risk of dying from COVID-19. The COVID-19 database was used and propensity score matching (PSM) was employed for hospitalization and mortality rates. Results Among 223,128 subjects from the city of Itajaí, 159,560 were 18 years old or up and were not infected by COVID-19 until July 7, 2020, from which 45,716 (28.7%) did not use and 113,844 (71.3%) used ivermectin. Among ivermectin users, 33,971 (29.8%) used irregularly (up to 60 mg) and 8,325 (7.3%) used regularly (more than 180 mg). The remaining 71,548 participants were not included in the analysis. COVID-19 infection rate was 49% lower for regular users (3.40%) than non-users (6.64%) (risk rate (RR): 0.51; 95% CI: 0.45-0.58; p < 0.0001), and 25% lower than irregular users (4.54%) (RR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.66-0.85; p < 0.0001). The infection rate was 32% lower for irregular users than non-users (RR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.64-0.73; p < 0.0001). Among COVID-19 participants, regularusers were older and had a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes and hypertension than irregular and non-users. After PSM, the matched analysis contained 283 subjects in each group of non-users and regular users, between regular users and irregular users, and 1,542 subjects between non-users and irregular users. The hospitalization rate was reduced by 100% in regular users compared to both irregular users and non-users (p < 0.0001), and by 29% among irregular users compared to non-users (RR: 0.781; 95% CI: 0.49-1.05; p = 0.099). Mortality rate was 92% lower in regular users than non-users (RR: 0.08; 95% CI: 0.02-0.35; p = 0.0008) and 84% lower than irregular users (RR: 0.16; 95% CI: 0.04-0.71; p = 0.016), while irregular users had a 37% lower mortality rate reduction than non-users (RR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.40-0.99; p = 0.049). Risk of dying from COVID-19 was 86% lower among regular users than non-users (RR: 0.14; 95% CI: 0.03-0.57; p = 0.006), and 72% lower than irregular users (RR: 0.28; 95% CI: 0.07-1.18; p = 0.083), while irregular users had a 51% reduction compared to non-users (RR: 0.49; 95% CI: 0.32-0.76; p = 0.001). Conclusion Non-use of ivermectin was associated with a 12.5-fold increase in mortality rate and a seven-fold increased risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to the regular use of ivermectin. This dose-response efficacy reinforces the prophylactic effects of ivermectin against COVID-19.
PMID:36196304 | PMC:PMC9525042 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.28624