The preliminary trial for ivermectin will soon start, but for the prevention and control of the spread of the African swine fever and not yet for COVID-19.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar ordered the creation of a research team to look into the potential of the antiparasitic drug for ASF control.
He directed the team to “conduct preliminary field trials of ivermectin and other agents to produce science-based evidence in support to control and prevention programs of ASF.”
The Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve human-grade ivermectin in the country.
While it can only be prescribed to animals, the FDA granted compassionate use permits to five hospitals for the use of ivermectin on patients who contracted COVID-19.
Meanwhile, a group of doctors said several Filipinos still tested positive for COVID-19 despite using ivermectin as a prophylaxis for the respiratory illness.
“We have actually seen a number of Filipinos who got COVID-19 despite using ivermectin, and in fact, not only getting infected with COVID-19 but the COVID-19 they got became really serious. They are coming to the hospital with severe COVID-19,” Dr. Maricar Limpin, vice president of the Philippine College of Physicians, said during an interview with ANC.
Limpin said some sought medical attention due to the side effects brought about by the antiparasitic drug.
“Based on current evidence from randomized controlled trials, ivermectin does not significantly improve clinical outcomes or reduce death among adults with mild COVID-19 infection,” PCP said in an earlier statement.
It added that ivermectin use was associated with side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, facial or limb swelling, neurologic adverse events (dizziness, seizures, confusion), sudden drop in blood pressure potentially requiring hospitalization, and liver injury (hepatitis).