Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug being investigated for repurposing against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Ivermectin showed in vitro activity against SARS-COV-2, but only at high concentrations. This meta-analysis investigated ivermectin in 23 randomized clinical trials (3349 patients) identified through systematic searches of PUBMED, EMBASE, MedRxiv, and trial registries. The primary meta-analysis was carried out by excluding studies at a high risk of bias. Ivermectin did not show a statistically significant effect on survival (risk ratio [RR], 0.90; 95% CI, 0.57 to 1.42; P = .66) or hospitalizations (RR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.36 to 1.11; P = .11). Ivermectin displayed a borderline significant effect on duration of hospitalization in comparison with standard of care (mean difference, -1.14 days; 95% CI, -2.27 to -0.00; P = .05). There was no significant effect of ivermectin on time to clinical recovery (mean difference, -0.57 days; 95% CI, -1.31 to 0.17; P = .13) or binary clinical recovery (RR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.94 to 1.50; P = .15). Currently, the World Health Organization recommends the use of ivermectin only inside clinical trials. A network of large clinical trials is in progress to validate the results seen to date.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; ivermectin; repurposed.
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America.