Low-Cost Ivermectine Checks COVID-19 Spread: AIIMS Bhubaneswar Study

Bhubaneswar: Ivermectine, a low cost anti-parasite drug, can check COVID-19 infection to a great extent, according to a recent study by researchers at AIIMS Bhubaneswar.

Director of AIIMS Bhubaneswar Gitanjali Batmanabane, one of the authors of the study said the finding is significant as it will offer a window of opportunity to government agencies trying to contain the spread of coronavirus, The Times of India reported.

Informing about the study, Batmanabane said around 20 to 25 staffers at AIIMS had been testing COVID-19 positive daily in early September. Doctors then started administering Ivermectine, which is used as an off-label treatment option for COVID-19 in some states, to health workers. They were given two doses in a 72-hour interval and the infections fell sharply, she added.

“We found that who received two doses of Ivermectine has 73% less chance of getting infected for one month. We are confident that it can be an effective tool to check the spread of infection,” Batmanabane said.

According to the researchers, administering Ivermectine tablets available in 3 mg, 6 mg and 12 mg may cost Rs 16 to Rs 24 per head. “Given the fact that Ivermectine is very low cost, it can be a potent weapon to prevent virus spread among people in different settings. If it is used before the second wave, fresh infections could be far less,” said Binod Patro, additional professor of community medicine at AIIMS and a co-author of the study.

The study “Role of Ivermectine in the prevention of COVID-19 infection among healthcare workers in India: A matched case-control study” is in pre-print stage and not yet peer reviewed.

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