Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine: An Alternative View

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A number of news articles that have surfaced in the alternative and mainstream media about the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin in treating SARS-CoV-2, or the COVID-19 virus.

Some of the articles claim that both are effective in treating even severe cases of the virus. A number of others, including peer-reviewed scientific papers, claim that neither drug has any effect on the virus.

Early on in the pandemic, a number of trials were done to see if hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a very old and relatively safe antimalarial drug, would have any effect on the virus. Several small studies showed that it did, and zinc was added to make the drug effective. Other studies claimed that the drug had no effect, but critics have pointed out that these studies involved the use of very high doses and did not use zinc. Sadly, a number of patients treated with high-dose HCQ died.

The critics have also pointed out that co-administration of zinc with HCQ is critical, as zinc is an ionophore that helps HCQ more easily access and destroy the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It’s well known that zinc can be used to shorten a bout with common colds or the flu, and in fact, there is a version of zinc out on the market called Zicam that can be applied nasally and has been used for decades.

Ivermectin is an antiparasitic medication commonly used to treat parasitic infections in horses and other farm animals as well as household pets. It usually comes in the form of a paste that is applied to treat parasitic skin infections, although an oral form is available.

It has been around for a very long time and is considered to be a safe drug with few side effects. In humans, it treats ” ‘a wide range of parasitic and nematodal infections: ” ‘Onchocerciasis, Strongyloidiasis, Ascariasis, cutaneous larva migrans, filariases, Gnathostomiasis and Trichuriasis, as well as for oral treatment of ectoparasitic infections, such as Pediculosis (lice infestation) and scabies (mite infestation).’ ” (1)

(Nematodal infestations are those caused by various species of worms like tapeworms and pinworms.)

Trials of an ivermectin nasal spray to treat COVID-19 infections by a Japanese researcher on Egyptian COVID-19 patients have been underway since August 2020. According to the abstract for the study, ” ‘Ivermectin is a well-known FDA-approved pan antiparasitic drug with high safety profile and potential therapeutic effects against COVID 19. It has been previously investigated as an antiviral agent. It showed 5000 fold reduction of SARS COV 2 viral RNA in-vitro studies.‘ ” (2)

Even more interesting is a study published at https://ivmmeta.com in which a meta-analysis of 24 ivermectin studies that reviewed the effectiveness of ivermectin in treating SARS-CoV-2 infections was completed. Controlling for study bias, the researchers found that ivermectin was anywhere between 48 and 98% effective in treating an infection, depending on the stage of the disease. Late disease could be treated successfully 48% of the time, while it was 98% effective for pre-infection prophylaxis, 90% effective for post-exposure prophylaxis, and 87% in early treatment. The average degree of effectiveness from all studies was 75%.

More stunning was the conclusion: “ ‘Ivermectin is effective for COVID-19. 100% of studies report positive effects. The probability that an ineffective treatment generated results as positive as the 24 studies to date is estimated to be 1 in 17 million (p = 0.00000006).’ “ (3)

Below is a graph showing how the studies reviewed computer and how the researchers from ivmmeta.com reached their conclusion that there was a one in 17 million chance that ivermectin was not effective.


How do HCQ and ivermectin work in treating COVID-19? Simply put, both drugs interfere with RNA synthesis and prevent parasites and nematodes from replicating.

Since both drugs interfere with RNA synthesis, it appears reasonable to expect that they will also interfere with the synthesis of RNA in COVID-19 infections, as the virus is an RNA virus that replicates mainly by penetrating the cells of the body and then forcing those cells to replicate the virus.

So, if both drugs show such promise, then why aren’t they being used?

Both drugs are old and off-patent. They are also dirt-cheap. The pharmaceutical industry can’t make much money off these drugs, as they cannot be patented. If they prove to be as effective as claimed, then they have the potential to make the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines pointless, which would mean the pharmaceutical industry could not make hundreds of billions of dollars in profits from selling vaccines or other COVID-19 treatments.

For its part, the mainstream media have done a very good job of demonizing both drugs and suppressing reports of their potential value. The reason why is that big pharmaceutical companies are the media’s biggest customers for advertising. Plus, the media love to manipulate public narrative and perception, just for the sake of having this kind of power.

I’ve often long thought that the reason for this is that some journalists have spent the better part of their careers desperately trying to prove that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. But with the severe corruption we’ve seen in the field of journalism over the last few decades, that pen has been rather badly tarnished.

It’s no secret that this kind of manipulation is also frequently done for the benefit of large and powerful corporate interests that own most mainstream news outlets and stand to profit from it.

There is an alternative viewpoint that is benign, and that is that while both drugs may successfully treat COVID-19 infections and save lives, neither will confer permanent immunity on someone who has survived a COVID-19 infection.

What this means, ultimately, is that someone who gets COVID-19 and survives can be reinfected and continue to spread the virus, even if they have been treated with HCQ and/or invermectin.

FOOTNOTES

(1) Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B, Physical and Biological Sciences, “Ivermectin, ‘Wonder drug’ from Japan: the human use perspective”, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3043740, published 10 February 2011, retrieved 15 December 2020

(2) ClinicalTrials.gov “Nasal spray for COVID-19 Patients”. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04510233, published 12 August 2020, retrieved 15 December 2020.

(3) ivmmeta.com, “Ivermectin is effective for COVID-19: meta analysis of 24 studies”. ivmmeta.com, published 14 December 2020, retrieved 15 December 2020.

Article written by Huron Zephyr