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  • Wartawan Nabalu News

Ivermectin not recommended for Covid-19 treatment, says MOH

3 Nov 2021

By Wartawan Nabalu News

KUALA LUMPUR: Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed that the usage of antiparasitic-drug Invermectin does not bring great benefit on treating Covid-19 patients and is not recommended for treatment.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said based on the clinical (I-TECH) study conducted by the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) study, the said drug does not prevent severe cases of Covid-19.

“The (ICR) today announced the findings for the Ivermectin study (1-TECH) in 500 hospitalised patients with Stage 2 or 3 COVID-19.

“The randomised controlled trial evaluated a five-day course with Ivermectin treatment (0.4mg/kg/day) with two groups assigned - standard of care (IVM group), compared to standard of care (SOC group),” he said in a statement today.

The trial was conducted by infectious disease physicians and clinicians who were actively involved in COVID-19 management in collaboration with the ICR, and the National Institute of Health (NIH).

“The main outcome of the I-TECH study was to see if ivermectin administered during the first week of illness prevented deterioration to severe COVID-19 Stage 4 or 5 among hospitalised patients aged 50 years and above with at least one comorbidity,” he added.

According to Noor Hisham, ICR Director Dr Kalaiarasu M. Peariasamy explained that the I-TECH findings showed patients in the IVM group compared to SOC group had similar rates of progression to severe COVID-19 disease at 21.2 percent and 17.3 percent respectively (OR 1.29 [95% CI 0.82-2.02]; p=0.30).

Meanwhile, the study of Principal Investigator of the I-TECH by Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Steven Lim Chee Loon at Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh, shows that there were no significant differences found in terms of ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, symptom recovery, blood parameters and chest x-ray resolution in both groups.

“The odds of complete symptom recovery by Day 5 of enrolment between IVM and SOC groups were very similar and not statistically significant; p = 0.77

“Additionally, safety analysis showed three times more adverse events were reported in the IVM group versus the SOC group: most commonly diarrhoea,” he stated.

Therefore, MOH continues with prior advice that ivermectin only be used within clinical trials settings with monitoring.

“It is hoped that the findings of this local study can help to inform Medical Practitioners in Malaysia and also to the public, who often ask about the effectiveness of ivermectin in the clinical practice of COVID-19 treatment.

Noor Hisham also cautioned practitioners to not recommend ivermectin including sharing illegal advertising or sale of ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19.

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