It is possible to bring clarity to the ivermectin debate

A lot has been written lately at American Thinker regarding ivermectin.  Here's a slightly different take that examines not only ivermectin's use, but also the benefits of repurposing drugs that have already passed FDA muster.

First off, ivermectin is safe.  (Disclaimer: This column does not offer medical advice.  Always consult your physician before deciding to take any medicine.)

Currently, in the United States, ivermectin is administered to humans in pill form to treat internal parasites, as a topical cream for rosacea, and in either form to treat scabies.  Similarly, it is administered to animals to treat both internal and external parasites as an injectable (hurts like heck), a pour-on, and an edible paste.  Sometimes it comes mixed with other drugs to treat horses, but I use the straight stuff on my pigs.  I have all three forms on the shelf at home but have found the paste to be the easiest to administer.  Pigs will gobble down a dose wrapped in a piece of bread before they can taste it.  If I get it on my hands, I just wash it off.

It's getting on toward Halloween.  Must be why the fear-mongers are out in such force.  Although the latest reporting that ivermectin poisoning was crowding the hospitals has been debunked, there's probably more of this sort of thing right around the corner.  I just couldn't understand why the pro-vaccine fanatics would make such fools of themselves, so I took a stroll through the literature to see what I might be missing.

In 1988, ivermectin was first used on humans in Africa during campaigns to eradicate a number of parasitic worm infections, including the horrific disfiguring disease lymphatic filariasis, and river blindness.  It's now being looked at as a potential treatment for malaria.  It may even work as a cancer treatment.  It was lauded as a miracle drug, and, so far, more than a billion doses have been administered.

As of the end of 2016, scientists published a study of adverse reporting on ivermectin contained in VigiBase.  This global database, with information originating in 125 countries, contained just 1,668 reports regarding ivermectin covering more than 30 years of administering more than a billion doses.

A quarter of all reports were for itching and another 20% for headache and dizziness.  The scientists identified 48 reports of serious neurological effects for clinical review.  Two patients died.  One asphyxiated five days after a dose.  The other was in septic shock with multiple-organ failure when parasites were found and treated with ivermectin.  That patient never recovered.  The handful of patients remaining may have been subject to a number of issues such as the presence of other diseases, drug-on-drug interactions, a genetic mutation of their mdr-1 gene, or high loa loa parasite presence.  These numbers are so low that they have no statistical significance.

And for calls to poison control centers?  Well, ivermectin tastes terrible, as in really, really bad, even when covered in apple flavoring, so that might account for some of it.  Another study in NIH's database reports that an acute toxic dose is about 250 times the therapeutic dose.  That's around 60 vials of horse paste.  'Nuff said?

Secondly, medical research exists in part to find usable medicines, for prevention, treatment, and cure of disease.  Finding a new drug is time-consuming and requires genius to recognize potential, diligence to carry on the repetitive work to uncover utility, and millions of dollars over 10 to 15 years of testing and trials.  Most drug trials do not lead to a viable product.

Thus, it is both medically and financially prudent to re-examine drugs already in use for "repositioning," "repurposing," or "off-label" use.  The advent of A.I. in the pharmacological field has sent medical research leaping and bounding in this area.  The costly and time-consuming safety trials are already completed on in-use compounds.  Anyone truly seeking to help people would of course opt for sooner rather than later, and proven safe rather than pending.  Effectiveness requires a much shorter duration of testing.

As regards the hysterical reporting out of the left that ivermectin is not an FDA-approved drug for the pandemic, in January 2021, a paper was published regarding repurposing ivermectin for efficacious use against COVID.  Say what you will about the FLCCC, and I like them; they do their homework.  Here is a preprint of one of their papers that lists many trials of ivermectin.  For those who enjoy following the science, there you go.

Ivermectin is safe.  It is likely that very soon it will be proved to be satisfactorily efficacious in preventing and treating SARS-CoV2.  Those jumping the gun and trying out their own home remedies don't seem to be hurting anyone, not even themselves.

Anony Mee is a retired public servant and raises American Guinea Hogs.

Image: Ivermectin tablet packaging by TajPharmaceuticalsLtd.  CC BY-SA 4.0.

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