Repurposing the drug, ivermectin, in COVID-19: toxicological points of view

Farshad M. Shirazi, Roya Mirzaei, Samaneh Nakhaee, Amir Nejatian, Shokouh Ghafari, Omid Mehrpour

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world’s population by causing changes in behavior, such as social distancing, masking, restricting people’s movement, and evaluating existing medication as potential therapies. Many pre-existing medications such as tocilizumab, ivermectin, colchicine, interferon, and steroids have been evaluated for being repurposed to use for the treatment of COVID-19. None of these agents have been effective except for steroids and, to a lesser degree, tocilizumab. Ivermectin has been one of the suggested repurposed medications which exhibit an in vitro inhibitory activity on SARS-CoV-2 replication. The most recommended dose of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 is 150–200 µg/kg twice daily. As ivermectin adoption for COVID-19 increased, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning on its use during the pandemic. However, the drug remains of interest to clinicians and has shown some promise in observational studies. This narrative reviews the toxicological profile and some potential therapeutic effects of ivermectin. Based on the current dose recommendation, ivermectin appears to be safe with minimum side effects. However, serious questions remain about the effectiveness of this drug in the treatment of patients with COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalEuropean Journal of Medical Research
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus disease 2019
  • Ivermectin
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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