The current SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) associated to the pandemic is an international public health emergency and there is currently no adequate treatment to fight it. Many laboratories and research groups are working hard to find potential vaccines or drugs to reduce the incidence of the virus.
Physicians in several countries, including Chile, have begun using the chemical ivermectin for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 in infected patients. Ivermectin was discovered in the 1970s and is a chemical compound of the macrocyclic lactone family used in the veterinary industry for the treatment of parasites and other diseases.
Even though this antiparasitic is approved by the FDA and the EMA, since the 90s, for a series of conditions in human animals, there is no use approved and scientifically endorsed by any competent entity for the treatment of COVID- 19. This means a risk for patients treated with this compound, since possible side effects and clinical consequences associated with it and the doses applied are unknown.
Moreover, easy access to this medicine could lead to self-medication by the population.
Before using any medicine for the treatment of a disease, it is necessary to verify that it has been subjected to the corresponding clinical trials and approved by a health authority competent in the matter.