MoH Sets Sights on Drug for Animals, Ivermectin To Cure Covid-19 Patients in Clinical Trial

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Malaysia reports new daily high of 15,573 Covid-19 cases, SE Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times
source: The Straits Times

During the battle against Covid-19, researchers and scientists are hastily coming together to figure out ways to cure patients who have contracted the virus.

As of right now, Minister of Health, Dr Adham Baba has set his sights on a drug called Ivermectin.

So far, the drug has been approved for a clinical trial on high-risk patients of Covid-19 by the Medical Research and Ethics Committee (MREC). Over 200 patients experiencing mild symptoms in the early phase of infection are involved in the trial.

Pusat perubatan swasta tidak guna Ivermectin
source: Berita Harian

The results will be announced in September, Adham said at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday (27 July).

The trials were spurred by claims that the medicine could help Covid-19 patients. KKM also announced that the trials will be done randomly to determine the effectiveness of Ivermectin.

Ivermectin row raises temperatures in Dewan | Free Malaysia Today (FMT)
source: FMT

During Adham’s speech, opposition lawmaker Sivarasa Rasiah insisted that the drug be approved ‘off-label’, which essentially means using the medicine to treat sicknesses that isn’t written on the label. He believes this is better than just using it for clinical trials only.

Adham remains adamant that the drug will not be used widely until the results are released for fear of harmful side effects.

While this drug seems to be kicking up quite a storm in Parliament, the general public is still unaware of what it is. So…

What is Ivermectin?

You’d be surprised (or not if you’re familiar with animals) to know that Ivermectin is an anti-parasite medicine used on animals. If you’re a dog owner, you might even be giving it monthly to your pooch without realising its name on the packaging.

It is commonly used in veterinary practices, especially to treat worms.

Due to this, when Sivarasa pushed the usage of the medicine, stating that it has been dispensed for over 40 years, Adham was quick to reply with, “Yes, but it was used for 40 years to treat worms.”

Adham also stated that India has since retracted their use of the medicine in June and that the Food & Drugs Association of America (FDA) listed many harmful side effects such as rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pains, bruising and drastic drop in blood pressure.

Health DG: MCO 3.0 needed amid jump in sporadic infections, presence of worrying Covid-19 variants | The Edge Markets

Director-General of Health Noor Hisham corroborated the drug in April for treating Covid-19 but the tests showed that the dosage of Ivermectin was very high, which could be unsafe for humans.

So, as of right now, while there is some evidence that the medicine might work, it’s better to be safe and wait for the results that will come out either in September or October.

While we wait, it’s best not to jump the gun and get the drug to try it for ourselves (especially if it’s the type that’s only meant for pets). Remember that significant research and studying needs to be performed first before it is deemed safe for our usage.

For more info, check out the thread below:

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