Anti-parasitic drug ivermectin not to be included for COVID-19 treatment protocol: Health Ministry

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Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], October 23 (ANI): The Union Health Ministry has decided not to include ivermectin medicine (anti-parasitic drug) in the National Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19 for the treatment of virus-infected patients.

The move comes after the Central government's National Task Force for COVID-19 and the health ministry's Joint Monitoring Group (JGM) chaired a meeting on Thursday to discuss if the anti-parasitic drug should be included in the national treatment guidelines or not.

A government official said, "Many states, for example--Uttar Pradesh, are utilising the drug as off label for treatment purpose and also for prophylaxis use against COVID-19. Now, it has been decided not to recommend ivermectin medicine in the National Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19 as there is not enough safety and efficacy evidence as per the randomised trials held across the world."

Ivermectin medicine is an inexpensive and safe drug that is used for the treatment of intestinational parasites and scabies.

In the fight against COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry has approved the use of several drugs in the treatment of coronavirus with subject to conditions in the Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19.

The Central government has already recommended the use of--remdesivir under "investigational therapies" only for restricted emergency use in moderate COVID-19 cases. Another drug called--tocilizumab is being used as off-label for the treatment of COVID patients. Meanwhile, anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is being utilised in patients during the initial stage of infection. (ANI)