Coronavirus and its variants are posing new challenges to scientists, researchers, and medical practitioners worldwide in the form of treatment and medicines. Newer medications and treatment techniques are regularly evolving.
Ivermectin Antiparasitic Drug, Not A Treatment For Covid-19
Only symptomatic treatment and isolation may be necessary for patients with mild to moderate symptoms. For patients with moderate to severe symptoms, extensive intervention in hospitalization or intensive care unit visit may be essential.
Though vaccines have been proven to be tremendously effective in reducing hospitalization and other complications and controlling the spread of the infection, many people are still not vaccinated, and even the vaccination rates remain slow in many places. Hence, there is always a need for more and more antiviral medications that are cheap and readily available.
One such drug is Ivermectin. Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug that the Food and Drug Administration approves to treat various parasitic infections like skin lice and rosacea. Ivermectin is also used in animals like dogs, horses, and cows to kill gastrointestinal worms.
The unapproved drug Ivermectin has gained much popularity in the treatment of Covid-19. This is more in low-income and middle-income countries, owing to their cheaper cost.
Many doctors in many areas are prescribing medications such as Ivermectin. Sen. Mark Steffen is among the Republican-Controlled Legislature’s biggest vaccine skeptics in Kansas. A physician himself has prescribed Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine for off-label uses for treatment Covid-19, but the pharmacists are refusing to fill them
Hydroxychloroquine is another such drug that is used to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. His bill mandates pharmacists to fill prescriptions for both drugs, failing to face disciplinary action.
His proposal also stated that parents can claim a religious exemption for all immunizations for their children. The bill would then be passed on to the Senate. Mark Steffen is currently undergoing investigation by the medical board for his statements against Covid-19.
Though many clinical trials have been done to assess the efficacy of Ivermectin in the treatment of Covid-19, none of the data shows it to be effective against Covid-19. However, some studies show it inhibits the reproduction of some viruses, but that requires very high doses of the drug. Ivermectin is also shown to interact with other medications, contradicting its use without consultation by a licensed practitioner.
Large doses of Ivermectin can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. This is the reason that it is necessary to keep a check on the dosage that is being consumed by the patient of any of these medicines.
The proposal has been pushed off by a Senate health committee member that is required to fill prescriptions by pharmacists before off-label use of anti-worm medication ivermectin and anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 treatment. Some doctors have continued to prescribe Covid-19 on an off-label basis to patients they have never met or treated earlier.
The doctors are expected to follow specific standards of care which recommend not to use the drugs for Covid-19 treatment. The acting director of the board of Healing Arts, Susan Gile supported the need of investigating the doctors who fail in providing standard care to patients.
The director also expressed the need for the board to have the legal authority to investigate and take legal action wherever doctors are found to violate the standards of care. Insurers have subsidized the cost of ivermectin prescription given for Covid-19 treatment against the economic theory which states insurers should not cover ineffective care.
Health officials recommend continuing with hand sanitization, adopting masks, and maintaining social distance to avoid the spreading of the virus and keep themselves safe and healthy.