Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Adrian Vladimir Hernández Diaz, José Alejandro Piscoya Rivera, Yuani M. Román, Paula Alejandra Burela, Vinay Pasupuleti, José E. Vidal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Abstract
Background
We systematically assessed benefits and harms of the use of ivermectin (IVM) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Methods
Published and preprint randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effects of IVM on adult patients with COVID-19 were searched until 22 March 2021 in 5 engines. Primary outcomes were all-cause mortality rate, length of hospital stay (LOS), and adverse events (AEs). Secondary outcomes included viral clearance and severe AEs (SAEs). The risk of bias (RoB) was evaluated using the Cochrane Risk of Bias 2.0 tool. Inverse variance random effect meta-analyses were performed, with quality of evidence (QoE) evaluated using GRADE methods.

Results
Ten RCTs (n = 1173) were included. The controls were the standard of care in 5 RCTs and placebo in 5. COVID-19 disease severity was mild in 8 RCTs, moderate in 1, and mild and moderate in 1. IVM did not reduce all-cause mortality rates compared with controls (relative risk [RR], 0.37 [95% confidence interval, .12–1.13]; very low QoE) or LOS compared with controls (mean difference, 0.72 days [95% confidence interval, −.86 to 2.29 days]; very low QoE). AEs, SAEs, and viral clearance were similar between IVM and control groups (low QoE for all outcomes). Subgroups by severity of COVID-19 or RoB were mostly consistent with main analyses; all-cause mortality rates in 3 RCTs at high RoB were reduced with IVM.

Conclusions
Compared with the standard of care or placebo, IVM did not reduce all-cause mortality, LOS, or viral clearance in RCTs in patients with mostly mild COVID-19. IVM did not have an effect on AEs or SAEs and is not a viable option to treat patients with COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Early online date28 Jun 2021
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Jun 2021

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