The Battle against COVID 19 Pandemic: What we Need to Know Before we "Test Fire" Ivermectin

Drug Res (Stuttg). 2020 Aug;70(8):337-340. doi: 10.1055/a-1185-8913. Epub 2020 Jun 19.


The world is faced with the dire challenge of finding an effective treatment against the rampaging COVID 19 pandemic. Amidst the crisis, reports of in vitro inhibitory activity of ivermectin, an approved anthelmintic, against the causative SARSCoV2 virus, have generated lot of optimism. In this article, we have fished and compiled the needed information on the drug, that will help readers and prospective investigators in having a quick overview. Though the primordial biological action of the drug is allosteric modulation of helminthic ion channel receptor, its in vitro activity against both RNA and DNA viruses is known for almost a decade. In the past two years, efficacy study in animal models of pseudorabies and zika virus was found to be favourable and unfavourable respectively. Only one clinical study evaluated the drug in dengue virus infection without any clinical efficacy. However, the proposed mechanism of drug action, by inhibiting the importin family of nucleus-cytoplasmic transporters along with favourable pharmacokinetics, warrants exploration of its role in COVID 19 through safely conducted clinical trials. Being an available and affordable drug, enlisted in WHO List of Essential Medicine, and a long track record of clinical safety, the drug is already in clinical trials the world over. As the pandemic continues to ravage human civilisation with unabated intensity, the world eagerly waits for a ray of hope emanating from the outcome of the ongoing trials with ivermectin as well as other drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / economics
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Betacoronavirus / drug effects*
  • Betacoronavirus / genetics
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Ivermectin / chemistry
  • Ivermectin / economics
  • Ivermectin / pharmacology
  • Ivermectin / therapeutic use*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Ivermectin