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Can Ivermectin be used to treat COVID-19?

What is Ivermectin?

It is a drug that has been used for the treatment of parasitic worm infections, which has become quite uncommon in a clean country like Singapore. It has gained interest and attention recently with many groups professing its use in the treatment of COVID-19, despite the lack of scientific evidence showing clear benefits.

Why did people get the idea that it can treat COVID?

The idea started in 2020 when Australian researches showed that the medicine could kill the virus in the laboratory setting. But this brings us to the next point.

Ivermectin works in the lab but not necessarily in humans

Though studies have shown that Ivermectin works in vitro (i.e in laboratory on cells) where high concentrations of the drug can be used, this may not necessarily work in humans. For one, the amount of drug needed to have an effect on the virus was much higher than the amount approved for human use and could even be fatal. Lab tests in a petri dish also don’t account for the various systems and complexities in the human body. It has never been used as prophylaxis before.

Ivermectin is approved for use in the treatment of parasitic worm infections. The dosages required are usually for treatment and are short term. What proponents of ‘Ivermectin for COVID-19’ are suggesting is using the drug for prophylaxis – giving the drug to prevent COVID-19. Given the uncertain duration of the pandemic, there is greater uncertainty on how long individuals might have to take a prophylactic drug.

It may give people false hopes and prevent them from seeing a doctor early.

One possible mindset people taking Ivermectin for prophylaxis may adopt is that they may become immune to the effects of the virus or opt against vaccination instead. These individuals run the risk of developing serious illness or even passing the virus on to others.

Patients are advised to not self-medicate with ivermectin and to consult their doctor for proper treatment of COVID-19. If you have any fever or flu like symptoms, you can visit the Intemedical Clinic for consultation at subsidised rates ($10 inclusive of consultation, medication and swab if necessary)

How to make an appointment with Intemedical?

Appointment Portal: Kovan Clinic / Potong Pasir Clinic

(click and book with instant confirmation!)

WhatsApp: 8879 9404

(available during clinic opening hours, 8am to 12am)

Mobile: 8879 9404

(messaging preferred)

Landline: +65 3165 9251

(please be aware that the phone might be engaged due to high call volume)


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