Ivermectin: Controversial COVID-19 Drug Used in Mexico CityBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Mon, 01/25/2021 - 17:35
Yesterday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on Twitter he tested positive for COVID-19. He added that he is doing well and today, he called Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the delivery of 24 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.
Lamento informarles que estoy contagiado de COVID-19. Los síntomas son leves pero ya estoy en tratamiento médico. Como siempre, soy optimista. Saldremos adelante todos. Me representará la Dra. Olga Sánchez Cordero en las mañaneras para informar como lo hacemos todos los días.— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) January 25, 2021
Meanwhile, Oliva López, Head of the Mexico City Ministry of Health, reported that the city’s medical staff was administering ivermectin and azithromycin to COVID-19 patients, reported el Financiero, with the support of the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition “Salvador Zubirán” (INCMNSZ), the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) and the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (SECTEI). “The Ministry of Health has determined there is enough evidence to use medicines such as ivermectin and azithromycin on SARS-CoV-2 positive people, even those without symptoms,” said López. In Mexico City, 50,747 people have been administered one of those medicines, among others, as part of their COVID-19 treatment, López told Forbes Mexico. However, she urged citizens to avoid self-medicating when it came to these treatments and urged anyone presenting symptoms to get medical attention.
Last April, researchers from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, discovered that ivermectin could be used to treat SARS-CoV-2, reported Forbes Mexico. But both the FDA and WHO advise against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 and warn of side effects, reports Deutsche Welle. Previously, ivermectin tablets had been approved for the treatment of some parasitic worms, while topical formulations were approved for the treatment of external parasites such as headlice and skin conditions such as rosacea, according to the FDA. But more evidence is necessary regarding its effectiveness and safety in the treatment of COVID-19, warn researchers.
Last month, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAPHRA) said that the drug had not been approved for human use as there is no sound clinical evidence supporting its use in fighting COVID-19, reports iAfrica. The Regulatory Authority argued that the clinical trials needed to justify its administration are still lacking. However, some countries in Latin America including Peru, Bolivia and Guatemala have been administering ivermectin to COVID-19 patients.