Ivermectin administration is associated with lower gastrointestinal complications and greater ventilator-free days in ventilated patients with COVID-19: A propensity score analysis

J Infect Chemother. 2022 Apr;28(4):548-553. doi: 10.1016/j.jiac.2021.12.024. Epub 2021 Dec 31.


Introduction: COVID-19 patients have been reported to have digestive symptoms with poor outcome. Ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug, has been used in COVID-19 patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether ivermectin has effects on gastrointestinal complications and ventilator-free days in ventilated patients with COVID-19.

Methods: COVID-19 patients who were mechanically ventilated in the ICU were included in this study. The ventilated patients who received ivermectin within 3 days after admission were assigned to the Ivermectin group, and the others were assigned to the Control group. Patients in the Ivermectin group received ivermectin 200 μg/kg via nasal tube. The incidence of gastrointestinal complications and ventilator-free days within 4 weeks from admission were evaluated as clinical outcomes using a propensity score with the inverse probability weighting method.

Results: We included 88 patients in this study, of whom 39 patients were classified into the Ivermectin group, and 49 patients were classified into the Control group. The hazard ratio for gastrointestinal complications in the Ivermectin group as compared with the Control group was 0.221 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.057 to 0.855; p = 0.029) in a Cox proportional-hazard regression model. The odds ratio for ventilator-free days as compared with the Control group was 1.920 (95% CI, 1.076 to 3.425; p = 0.027) in a proportional odds logistic regression model.

Conclusions: Ivermectin improved gastrointestinal complications and the number of ventilator-free days in severe COVID-19 patients undergoing mechanical ventilation. Prevention of gastrointestinal symptoms by SARS-Cov-2 might be associated with COVID-19 outcome.

Keywords: COVID-19; Diarrhea; Gastrointestinal; Intensive care unit; Ivermectin; Ventilated; Ventilator-free days.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment*
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Ivermectin / adverse effects
  • Propensity Score
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Ivermectin