Clinical trials hope to study the long-term effects of Ivermectin

Last week, FOX23 shared an investigative report into the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19. We spoke with a doctor in Oklahoma who is prescribing doses of the drug to treat patients.

Ivermectin is an FDA-approved drug. It is usually prescribed by doctors to treat parasitic infections. However, the drug has not been approved to treat COVID-19.

The FDA tells FOX23 that clinical trials are underway to test the drug against the virus. Meanwhile, researchers with Oxford University in England have launched their own study on Ivermectin. It’s part of a wider project called PRINCIPLE, which searches for other treatments of COVID-19. The researchers hope to have results in a few months.

Dr. Randy Grellner is a family practitioner in Cushing. He and Jennifer Rudd with Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine both agree that Ivermectin can be given to people or animals. But Dr. Rudd has a warning.

“On the other side of it, the thing we are seeing that is really concerning about ivermectin I can see this as a vet, people are going to a feed store drug store buying their own Ivermectin and giving it to themselves,” says Dr. Rudd.

Dr. Rudd says that if you are interested in taking Ivermectin, you must get a prescription from your doctor. The dosage depends on your weight.

“There are people who have gone out and taken animal Ivermectin. I don’t recommend that. Never...I think that’s insane,” says Dr. Grellner.

Oxford University’s website describes the study and the drug itself: “Small pilot studies show that early administration with Ivermectin can reduce viral load and the duration of symptoms in some patients with mild COVID-19.”

Now, researchers are expanding that scale to see if the drug can keep people out of the hospital.

Back in Oklahoma, Dr. Rudd believes the best way to tackle the pandemic is prevention.

“We know people are scared, they are trying to prevent the virus. They think Ivermectin will be the magic drug that will do that. Getting vaccinated is the way to do that.”