Does Ivermectin Work for Covid-19?

Why we still don’t really know if ivermectin has any benefit at all for Covid-19

Gideon M-K; Health Nerd


There were no free stock photos of ivermectin itself, so here are some random pills and you get to use your imagination. Source: Pexels

Note: because I know people will say silly things, I have never been paid by any pharmaceutical companies, hold no interests in drugs of any kind, and am funded entirely by the Australian state and federal governments, as well as a bit of money that I get from locking my stories on Medium for you all to read. I have no financial interests in any Covid-19 drugs, and honestly would love it if ivermectin cured the disease because then the pandemic would be over — I could go back to writing about whether chili peppers can stop heart attacks and that’d be much more fun.

The Covid-19 pandemic has often felt like one long parade of hope around miracle cures. First we had hydroxychloroquine, which has been used to treat countless millions across the globe despite the most recent evidence indicating that it increases your risk of death if you have Covid-19. Following that, we saw a seemingly endless cavalcade of supposed cures, from vitamin C to zinc to vitamin D to almost everything in between — there’s been an understandably desperate longing for a simple fix to the pandemic that has permeated conversations across the globe.

Searching for “miracle” on a stock photo website brought up a bunch of shots of this lovely couple shoveling snow with their dogs, and it was too adorable not to share. Source: Nataliya Vaitkevich

Which brings us to ivermectin. Depending on whether you listen to the World Health Organisation or sensationalist headlines, ivermectin is either an anti-parasitic drug that has no strong evidence for a benefit against Covid-19 or a world-changing solution to the entire pandemic we’re suffering through.

It’s a fascinating dichotomy to watch — on one side, public health experts are mostly on the fence about whether there’s any use for ivermectin, on the other are passionately fierce adherents who set up entire advocacy websites for the explicit purpose of getting more people to take the drug. This makes any discussion about ivermectin wildly contentious, because many people are convinced that it reduces your risk of death from Covid-19 to almost nothing, which if true would make it almost as useful as vaccines when it comes to ending the pandemic.