Head of Tokyo Medical Association recommends use of Ivermectin for coronavirus patients and their caregivers

The cheap, generic drug Ivermectin, widely used against parasites, doesn't seem to have a lot of friends in the American medical or journalistic establishments when it comes to treating coronavirus.  It's been widely used overseas as a treatment for and prophylactic against coronavirus, and is being prescribed for off-label use by some physicians in the U.S.  But in CDC Guidelines issued last week, the official body noted:

… Ivermectin has been widely used and is generally well tolerated [but] Ivermectin is not approved by the FDA for the treatment of any viral infection.

The CDC went on to state:

Reports from in vitro studies suggest that ivermectin acts by inhibiting the host importin alpha/beta-1 nuclear transport proteins, which are part of a key intracellular transport process that viruses hijack to enhance infection by suppressing the host's antiviral response.4,5 In addition, ivermectin docking may interfere with the attachment of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein to the human cell membrane.6 Ivermectin is thought to be a host-directed agent, which may be the basis for its broad-spectrum activity in vitro against the viruses that cause dengue, Zika, HIV, and yellow fever.4,7-9 Despite this in vitro activity, no clinical trials have reported a clinical benefit for ivermectin in patients with these viruses. Some studies of ivermectin have also reported potential anti-inflammatory properties, which have been postulated to be beneficial in people with COVID-19.

Some observational cohorts and clinical trials have evaluated the use of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Data from some of these studies can be found in Table 2c.

But the CDC refused to take a position on use of the drug against the current pandemic-causing virus:

There are insufficient data for the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel (the Panel) to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19. Results from adequately powered, well-designed, and well-conducted clinical trials are needed to provide more specific, evidence-based guidance on the role of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19.

But in Japan, the country where Ivermectin was invented and merited a Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for its creator, Professor Satoshi Omura, a very important member of the medical establishment has come out recommending Ivermectin for use on patients with the coronavirus, as a therapy, and for their caregivers.  The Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Japan's version of the Wall Street Journal) reports:

At a press conference on the 9th, the chairman of the Tokyo Medical Association, Haruo Ozaki, recommended the emergency use of drugs, mainly to lessen the severity of home caregivers in order to respond to the spread of the new coronavirus infection. He emphasized that antiparasitic drugs such as "ivermectin" should be administered to corona-infected persons, saying that they have been shown to be effective in preventing aggravation of the condition overseas.

In addition to ivermectin, he called for the government to approve the use of the steroidal anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone. Mr. Ozaki said, "(Both) have few side effects. I would like the government to consider so that treatment can be performed at the level of a family doctor."

Both ivermectin and dexamethasone are prescribed domestically. However, it has not been approved as a treatment for corona. [Google Translate, slightly corrected by author]

The news last week that Ivermectin finally is going to get a rigorous study of its effectiveness against the coronavirus is a highly positive development.  Because there is no big money to be made off a generic drug, there's no momentum for such studies in this country.  Ivermectin is already so widely used that we have an excellent level of knowledge of its few downsides.  Alas, the same cannot be said of the Warp Speed vaccines currently being administered to tens of millions worldwide.

Photo credit: Author.