NEW DELHI: A day after Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane declared that they will administer oral drug "Ivermectin 12mg" for five days to all adults over 18, as a deterrent against Covid-19, the World Health Organisation has warned against its general use.
"Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. WHO recommends against use of 'ivermectin' for COVID-19, except within clinical trials," Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the global health body's chief scientist, tweeted.
This is the second WHO warning against the drug in the past two months. In March, it had said there is "very low certainty of evidence" of the drug's effect on mortality of hospital admission.
A similar warning has also been issued by German healthcare and life sciences giant Merck, known as MSD outside the US, whose statement Dr Swaminathan attached to her tweet.
The medication is basically used to treat certain parasitic roundworm infections, but it has no effect at all on the Covid-19 infection, Merck said. The Goa health minister was apparently carried away by a research, published in the May-June issue of the American Journal of Therapeutics, claiming to be the most comprehensive review of the available data on this medicine, based on the clinical, in vitro, animal and real world studies. The WHO has already challenged the findings published in the journal.