What Is Ivermectin — And Could This Parasite Drug Cure Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

What Is Ivermectin — And Could This Parasite Drug Cure Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Entertainment And News

As doctors and scientists all over the world rush to find a viable treatment (and even a vaccine) for coronavirus, it looks like one potential medication has discovered to be helpful for those suffering from the virus.

It's called Ivermectin, and it might be the most effective drug for treating COVID-19 yet — even though it's still early to know for sure.

What is Ivermectin — and could this parasite drug cure coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Here's everything we know so far.

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What is Ivermectin? It's typically used to kill parasitic infections.

If you've never heard of Ivermectin before, it's because you're lucky enough to have avoided getting some pretty nasty infections in the past. Ivermectin is a drug used to stop parasitic infections — the kind that many people may pick up traveling, like threadworm. It's also effective in treating head lice and scabies. 

It can kill the coronavirus In less than 48 hours.

Researchers In Australia have discovered that Ivermectin could potentially be incredibly useful in fighting the coronavirus. In 48 hours, it was able to kill the virus in a petri dish, and even after just 24 hours, there was a significant improvement. If this works in humans, it could save so many lives all around the world.

"We showed that a single dose of ivermectin could kill COVID-19 in a petri dish within 48 hours, indicating potent antiviral activity," Dr. David Jans has said.

It's also a viable solution for people all over the world, if truly effective.

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Not only Is Ivermectin widely available, but it's affordable, too. Dr. Jans added that the drug can also be used at high doses without much risk, so it sounds like if it does turn out to be an effective treatment in humans, it could be an easy solution for people who can't afford an expensive treatment.

It makes the virus replicate more slowly.

And that's definitely a good thing, because that means it gives the body the chance to kill the virus and heal.

"The main way we think ivermectin works is to target a key molecule of our cells that we think helps the virus to proliferate," Dr. Jans said. "By stopping this, the virus replicates more slowly, and so our immune system has a better chance to mount the antiviral response and kill the virus." 

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It still hasn't been approved for use in humans.

Although initial studies have shown that Ivermectin is working at the cellular level, it still hasn't been tested on humans and so far, we don't know what the correct dosage would be or how and when to take it. There are still a lot of questions about it that haven't been answered, but it's definitely a good sign that early studies have been yielding such optimistic results. 

It could be awhile before we find out If this is a useful treatment. 

Unfortunately, putting a drug on the market for a new use can take some time — including a period of human trials to make sure that it's effective and safe for the general population to use. That being said, once that stage of testing is done with, it could mean that we've finally found the right treatment for coronavirus, and that's definitely something to look forward to. Many scientists are out there are working tirelessly to find a solution, so it's important to stay positive even in the midst of such a stressful time.

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.

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