Published July 28, 2021 By Maria Popp, et al.

Abstract

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Background

Ivermectin, an antiparasitic agent used to treat parasitic infestations, inhibits the replication of viruses in vitro. The molecular hypothesis of ivermectin’s antiviral mode of action suggests an inhibitory effect on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) replication in the early stages of infection. Currently, evidence on efficacy and safety of ivermectin for prevention of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection and COVID‐19 treatment is conflicting.

Objectives

To assess the efficacy and safety of ivermectin compared to no treatment, standard of care, placebo, or any other proven intervention for people with COVID‐19 receiving treatment as inpatients or outpatients, and for prevention of an infection with SARS‐CoV‐2 (postexposure prophylaxis).

Search methods

We searched the Cochrane COVID‐19 Study Register, Web of Science (Emerging Citation Index and Science Citation Index), medRxiv, and Research Square, identifying completed and ongoing studies without language restrictions to 26 May 2021.

Selection criteria

We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing ivermectin to no treatment, standard of care, placebo, or another proven intervention for treatment of people with confirmed COVID‐19 diagnosis, irrespective of disease severity, treated in inpatient or outpatient settings, and for prevention of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection.

Co‐interventions had to be the same in both study arms. 

We excluded studies comparing ivermectin to other pharmacological interventions with unproven efficacy.

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