Meta-analysis of randomized trials of ivermectin to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection
Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug being investigated for repurposing against SARS-CoV-2. Ivermectin showed in-vitro activity against SARS-COV-2 at high concentrations. This metaanalysis investigated ivermectin in 24 randomized clinical trials (3328 patients) identified through systematic searches of PUBMED, EMBASE, MedRxiv and trial registries. Ivermectin was associated with reduced inflammatory markers (C-Reactive Protein, d-dimer and ferritin) and faster viral clearance by PCR. Viral clearance was treatment dose- and durationdependent. In 11 randomized trials of moderate/severe infection, there was a 56% reduction in mortality (Relative Risk 0.44 [95%CI 0.25-0.77]; p=0.004; 35/1064 (3%) deaths on ivermectin; 93/1063 (9%) deaths in controls) with favorable clinical recovery and reduced hospitalization. Many studies included were not peer reviewed and a wide range of doses were evaluated. Currently, WHO recommends the use of ivermectin only inside clinical trials. A network of large clinical trials is in progress to validate the results seen to date.