Professor Thomas Borody, a gastroenterologist credited with developing a world-first cure for peptic ulcers, saving countless lives, has stepped up his advocacy for what he believes is the “answer to Australia’s COVID-19 crisis”. Taken together, Ivermectin – a treatment for head lice that costs as little as $2 – combined with zinc and the antibiotic Doxycycline, could be a “potential lifesaver right now”, Professor Borody said. “These three medications are already approved,” he said.
“They do not need preclinical or clinical trials nor additional (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approvals unless the aim is to combine in a single capsule, for example. “Patient treatment programs have been done in the US and elsewhere which indicate it can work within four to six days.”
Professor Thomas Borody is urging health authorities to adopt his proposed tri-treatment, using Ivermectin, to treat COVID-19 patients in Australia. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
A handful of South American countries have deployed Ivermectin as both a treatment and preventive measure after early laboratory research indicated it may eliminate COVID-19.
Professor Borody believes the combination of three approved ‘off the shelf’ drugs could be a “cure”.
But experts have cautioned that any declarations of a coronavirus cure or treatment should be “taken with a grain of salt” given trials for a number of theorised medicines are in their early stages.
When asked about the drug’s potential in treating coronavirus, Dr Ian Musgrave, a molecular pharmacologist from the University of Adelaide, said: “Oh no, not Ivermectin.”
“No, it‘s not a cure for COVID-19,” Dr Musgrave added.
“It works in test-tube experiments, but is unlikely to work clinically as it is hard to achieve effective plasma concentrations. No clinical trials data are available yet and in the absence of any public data, claims of the high efficacy are to be taken with a grain of salt.”
Concerns have also been raised about some of the Ivermectin trials, with warnings that rushing it to human use might do more harm than good in coronavirus cases.
That hasn’t stopped Professor Borody writing to both the Federal and Victorian Government urging authorities to heed his advice.
The Daily Telegraph today reported that those pleas have fallen on deaf ears and described Professor Borody as having “invented an effective, cheap, readily available treatment for COVID-19 and his own country ignored him”.
“I wrote to the federal and state governments,” he told the newspaper.
“I wasn’t even responded to … It got to a certain level of the fortress, but I don’t think it got to the decision-makers. You can see how frustrating it is, whereas a big state of India says ‘let’s use it’.”
Australia hasn’t exactly ignored Ivermectin, with a joint study by Monash University and The Doherty Institute back in April first sparking excitement about the drug.
Their early stage laboratory research showed Ivermectin had an effect on COVID-19 after just one exposure to the anti-parasitic medication. The initial results were published on April 3.
Dr Kylie Wagstaff from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute’s Dr Kylie Wagstaff, who led the study, said at the time the results were astounding but stressed it was early days.
“Ivermectin is very widely used and seen as a safe drug. We need to figure out now whether the dosage you can use it at in humans will be effective – that’s the next step,” Dr Wagstaff said.
Dozens of clinical trials were launched in multiple countries soon after.
Monash has received government funding to continue its research into the drug.
But concerns were raised soon after the Monash paper’s publication about the “false hope” it might provide.
“Using the highest possible dose that’s been studied in a human, it’s 10 to 30 times short of where it needs to be,” Professor Mark Sullivan, managing director at vaccine development company Medicines Development for Global Health, told The Age.
“You will hit safety problems far sooner than you will hit efficacy.”
The journal that originally published the early findings has since published letters from other scientists cautioning about Ivermectin.
Professor Borody said he has reviewed the research, as well as the results of early trials abroad, and is confident his proposed tri-treatment is safe.
He also made the bold claim that it could be the “fastest and safest way” to halt the outbreak in Victoria, potentially in as little as four weeks.
“If nothing else, make it available in aged care homes immediately,” he said.
“Our elderly are at the highest risk and this is a very safe option especially when we have nothing else except ventilators.
“Also, our frontline workers deserve more protection with a preventive medication like this, and as emergency treatment if they test positive.
“An Ivermectin tablet can cost as little as $2 – which could make it by far the cheapest, safest, and fastest cure for Australians and the Australian economy.”
The latest lead for researchers is an anti-parasitic drug called ivermectin, which is often used to treat head lice.
Ivermectin is an anti-parasite medication.
Ivermectin is used to treat infections in the body that are caused by certain parasites.
Ivermectin is currently being investigated as a treatment for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. The trials so far have shown ivermectin reduces the number of cell-associated viral DNA by 99.8 % in 24 hours. Further studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of this medicine in humans with COVID-19.
Click for further information on using ivermectin to treat COVID-19 and other prevention and investigational treatments.
You will need to have a stool exam after taking ivermectin to make sure the infection is gone. Some patients may need to take another dose of ivermectin to treat the infection.
Ivermectin may make you feel dizzy. To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use ivermectin if you are allergic to it.
To make sure ivermectin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- liver or kidney disease; or
- cancer, HIV or AIDS, or other conditions that can weaken your immune system.
It is not known whether ivermectin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Ivermectin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Ivermectin should not be given to a child who weighs less than 33 pounds (15 kg).
How should I take ivermectin?
Never take ivermectin in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label.
Take ivermectin on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Ivermectin is usually given as a single dose. Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
To effectively treat your infection, you may need to take ivermectin again several months to a year after your first dose.
If you have a weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine), you may need to take more than one dose of ivermectin. Some people who have a weak immune system need to take this medicine on a regular basis. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
To make sure this medicine is working, you may need to provide frequent stool samples.
How it works
Ivermectin belongs to a class of drugs called anti-parasitic drugs. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Ivermectin oral tablet works by binding to parts inside the parasite. It eventually paralyzes and kills off the parasite, or it stops adult parasites from making larvae for a while. This treats your infection.
A head lice treatment could be the cure for the coronavirus as Australian scientists have found a single dose of the drug killed COVID-19 cells in the laboratory. Subscribe: https://bit.ly/2noaGhv Get more breaking news at: https://bit.ly/2nobVgF