Registered in the UK’s study registry PROSPERO, with their results published in the peer review medical journal Reviews in Medical Virology, a team from Indonesia’s Pelita Harapan University, Tangerang conducted a meta-analysis with the important question of whether ivermectin administration is effective in improving the outcomes in patients with COVID-19? Complying with what’s known as the “PICO” framework, meaning that the study adhered to the following (P: Population—Covid-19 patients; I: Intervention—ivermectin medications; C: Comparison or Control—a group of patients who did not receive ivermectin, only receive standard of care therapy or any other medications as control/placebo; O: Outcome—severe Covid-19, mortality, negative RT-PCR test results rate, time to negative RT-PCR test results, symptoms alleviations rate, time to symptoms alleviations and time to hospital discharge), randomized clinical trial articles were included, with the condition that the full-text paper was published. Undertaking an extensive search in PubMed, Europe PMC, and ClinicalTrials.gov, the team assessed the quality of underlying studies using Jadad scale assessment, a tool for clinical trial studies. Employing Review Manager 5.4 software for their statistical analysis, the researchers reviewed 19 studies with 2,768 COVID-19 patients in the study. They found that ivermectin was associated with a reduction in the severity of COVID-19, reduction of mortality, higher negative RT-PCR test result rate, shorter time to negative RT-PCR test results, higher rate of reducing COVID symptoms, and shorter hospitalization duration as measured by time to discharge. Yet another comprehensive meta-analysis suggests ivermectin could offer beneficial effects when treating COVID-19. Of course, the scholars recommend more clinical trials, as have all other researchers delving into the matter.
Led by Timotius Ivan Hariyanto, Jane Rosalind, Devina Adella Halim, and Andree Kurniawan, the Indonesian researchers embraced a drug that’s been studied 58 times to date, with dozens of other studies ongoing, including one funded by the U.S. government (ACTIV-6). While several studies have showcased positive results, three other groups have conducted ivermectin meta-analysis, including Tess Lawrie and her group called British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD), the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), and Dr. Andrew Hill whose work was commissioned by Unitaid, affiliated with the World Health Organization.
The Indonesia-based team sought to provide some more clarity in the discussion about the efficacy of ivermectin, clarifying whether they could find the evidence for ivermectin and its contribution to positive outcomes.
This particular meta-analysis concurred with others that ivermectin was in fact associated with a reduction in severity of Covid-19 (RR 0.43 [95% CI 0.23–0.81], p = 0.008), reduction of mortality (RR 0.31 [95% CI 0.15–0.62], p = 0.001), higher negative RT-PCR test results rate (RR 1.23 [95% CI 1.01–1.51], p = 0.04), shorter time to negative RT-PCR test results (mean difference [MD] −3.29 [95% CI −5.69, −0.89], p = 0.007), higher symptoms alleviations rate (RR 1.23 [95% CI 1.03−1.46], p = 0.02), shorter time to symptoms alleviations (MD −0.68 [95% CI −1.07, −0.29], p = 0.0007) and shorter time to hospital discharge (MD −2.66 [95% CI −4.49, −0.82], p = 0.004). The study suggests that ivermectin is helpful as a treatment against COVID-19 but the investigators acknowledge more clinical trials will help clarify this information.
About Pelita Harapan University
Founded in 1993, this private evangelical coeducational higher education is managed by the Pelita Harapan Education Foundation and was the first university in Indonesia to introduce programs solely taught in English.
- Timotius Ivan Hariyanto
- Jane Rosalind
- Devina Adella Halim
- Andree Kurniawan