Ivermectin, a lay persons perspective


Ivermectin has been something of a controversy during the pandemic and yet prior to this Ivermectin was heralded as one of the most impressive drugs in history putting it up there with Penicillin.

This blog is written as a lay person having gathered various pieces of evidence about Ivermectin and explored the "controversy" in relation to COVID19.

Decades of use in humans 

Discovered in the soils of Japan in the 1970's, it's true that like many drugs, Ivermectin was first used for veterinary purposes, but it wasn't long until it completed Phase I safety trials for human use in 1981.

The drug followed a standard path, completing Phase IV trials between 1987–1989 (the bit we're currently doing with Covid19 vaccines).

Even before completing phase IV trials, the drug showed such significant value that it found its way on to the WHO's "Essentials medicines list" in 1987.

The drug was used around the world primarily for treating parasites where such problems were more prevalent, in particular in developing nations. It was finally approved by the FDA for humans in the US in 1996.

The astonishing success of the drug which changed the lives of millions of people around the world led to the scientists behind Ivermectin being awarded the Nobel Prize in 2015.

Today, the drug continues to be used very widely around the world, with 250 million people taking it annually, many of them over the counter and without prescription.

A multipurpose drug

As well as it's anti-parasitic effects, like many drugs, Ivermectin has been found to have multiple mechanisms of action and additional properties including antiviral properties. It has been used "off label" (for purposes other than it was originally approved) to treat viral infections long before COVID19 came along.

As if that wasn't enough, Ivermectin has also been shown to have a range of anti-cancer mechanisms including enhancing the efficacy of cancer drugs in particular, overcoming drug resistance.

What about safety?

There are those who have expressed "concern" about the safety of Ivermectin including the original manufacturer Merck. This is despite Ivermectin being well known to be one of the safest drugs available, with decades of safety data and billions of doses taken by hundreds of millions of people every year.

Many papers highlight the safety of Ivermectin, one notable example is co-authored by Chris Whitty (England's Chief Medical Officer), and published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

"The drug has proven to be safe. Doses up to 10 times the approved limit are well tolerated by healthy volunteers"

Another story did the rounds about the number of patients overdosing on Ivermectin blocking up hospital beds. This later turned out to be false when the hospital made a statement, but this fact didn't go viral like the original lie. 

Following this story, Trial Site News took a look at the US Poison Control Data. It turns out that in 2019, based on this data, hand sanitizer killed more people than Ivermectin. This doesn't really prove a whole lot except people do crazy things.

The case for COVID19

As already discussed, Ivermectin is known to be multi-purpose with a number of mechanisms of action, including against viruses. Studies have shown that Ivermectin acts in a number of ways to limit the replication of COVID19 and it's effects.

While many simply follow protocol, since the outbreak of COVID19  we have seen some of the most interesting and honest information coming from front-line doctors and scientists who use their knowledge and skills to practice medicine and learn from this.

100's of doctors and scientists from around the world have conducted studies using Ivermectin, with 1,000's of patients taking part. These include observation trials through to double blind randomised controlled trials. Within this body of evidence there are over 30 randomised controlled trials and of the 60 plus studies to date, 45 have been peer reviewed.

There are those who will argue we still need large randomized controlled trials (which have their place), but in a pandemic with an evolving landscape, a body of evidence is far more powerful as it detects a signal that could otherwise become lost or take years to find. For example the current Oxford Study has been designed around a dosing of 0.3 mg/kg when the body of evidence points towards a dosing of 0.4 to 0.6 mg/kg being the most effective dose. If this were the only study and it failed, the assumption might be that Ivermectin didn't work, when in fact the study design is at fault.

Plenty of countries, in particular those with less developed healthcare systems have moved to use Ivermectin, including India, Mexico, Slovakia and El Salvador to name a few. In many countries it is available over the counter and in some countries using it against COVID19, it is handed out in home treatment kits.



We've known about Ivermectin and its "miraculous" properties for many years, and indeed for COVID19 since the first half of 2020. 

With millions dying around the world and many months without a vaccine it is astonishing how the world, in particular the west, has ignored existing options and pursued novel therapeutics and vaccines at great delay, expense, risk and loss of life.

The "precautionary principle" would suggest that if something is safe and could work, then any doctor still practicing medicine would at least try. Ivermectin is very cheap, safe and all the evidence points to it working.

Why "horse drug"?

As with many drugs, Ivermectin works across the animal kingdom and it is used as a de-wormer for pets and horses. While some countries limit the availability of Ivermectin for humans, the animal form is more readily available. 

Ivermectin is used in a variety of products, but these products were not necessarily designed for human consumption, and in some cases may contain other ingredients, perhaps to give your mane that "just stepped out of the salon" look.


In recent times we have seen a draconian clamp down on human Ivermectin with governments and health authorities restricting access including in some cases threatening to revoke licences and even jail  doctors who prescribe it. This has lead some people to source the animal form alternatives.

It certainly seems strange given the history and evidence, that a "Wonder Drug" such as Ivermectin would be dismissed as a "horse drug", even when talking about it in the context of being prescribed by doctors for humans.

In contrast, recently developed and soon to be released COVID19 drugs which are under patent, including one being produced by Merck, have received much better press. Intriguing to say the least. 



So what's going on?

Unfortunately today we live in a word governed by 3 letter agencies and a "health" establishment which follows top down protocols, not to mention the vested and conflicts of interest at various levels.

When regulators such as the US FDA and UK MHRA receive a significant proportion of the funding from organisations directly linked to those who they regulate the system is clearly broken. At best it is subject to influence and manipulation, at worse corruption.

We have strong signals from history about how this world conducts itself when government, corporate, financial, political and power interests get intertwined. The well-being of citizens gets sidelined for those vested interests. Tobacco, Asbestos, DuPont and the NFL to name a few of many examples.
We know the pharmaceutical industry are developing patented novel vaccines and treatments to sell to the world to treat COVID19, these cost a great deal to develop but also yield enormous profits while still under patent. Drugs such as Ivermectin are now out of patent and are therefore incredibly cheap and readily available, limiting profits.

Drug companies have long been known to have tentacles throughout various organisations, attempting to control the narrative through various means. They have been caught manipulating,  silencing, dissenting, over-hyping and spreading misinformation and disinformation. For example :
 
The clear misinformation and disinformation is perhaps the most telling thing about all of this. There is a clear and concerted effort to discredit Ivermectin despite the body of evidence. Claims of it only being for horses or being dangerous are clearly an attempt to discredit and control the narrative.

Conclusions

It's clear that there is a case for the use of Ivermectin in the fight against  COVID19 and it is very worthy of wider discussion, but scientific debate is being prevented. 

There are a number of salient points to consider when drawing a conclusion :
  • Painting Ivermectin as a "horse drug" is a clear attempt to mislead the public. 
  • Questions about safety are unfounded and again a likely an attempt to mislead.
  • The idea there is "no evidence" is demonstrably false.  
  • Claims "it doesn't work" are not backed by sound evidence.  
  • Other drugs have been granted authorization on lesser evidence.
  • We have evidence that pharma engages in nefarious practices.
  • Governments  and their agencies have conflicts of interest.
  • Merck and others have new novel COVID19 drugs in development.
Whether their motives are all aligned or not, the desire to suppress a viable preventative and treatment option seems fairly evident. 

So, if you can not trust the government and the healthcare system to at least be honest, let alone stand with citizens, then how can you trust them on anything, and what else might they be covering up for?