Objectives: Ivermectin, an antiparasitic agent, also has antiviral properties. In this study, we aimed to assess whether ivermectin has anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. Methods: In this double-blinded trial, we compared patients receiving ivermectin for 3 days versus placebo in nonhospitalized adult patients with COVID-19. A reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction from a nasopharyngeal swab was obtained at recruitment and every 2 days for at least 6 days. The primary endpoint was a reduction of viral load on the sixth day as reflected by cycle threshold level >30 (noninfectious level). The primary outcome was supported by the determination of viral-culture viability. Results: Of 867 patients screened, 89 were ultimately evaluated per-protocol (47 ivermectin and 42 placeboes). On day 6, the odds ratio (OR) was 2.62 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09-6.31) in the ivermectin arm, reaching the endpoint. In a multivariable logistic regression model, the odds of a negative test on day 6 were 2.28 times higher in the ivermectin group but reached significance only on day 8 (OR 3.70; 95% CI: 1.19-11.49, P = 0.02). Culture viability on days 2 to 6 was positive in 13.0% (3/23) of ivermectin samples versus 48.2% (14/29) in the placebo group (P = 0.008). Conclusion: There were lower viral loads and less viable cultures in the ivermectin group, which shows its anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. It could reduce transmission in these patients and encourage further studies with this drug.
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- Infectivity duration
- Viral cultures