Facebook Twitter Tumblr Close Skip to main content
A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Evidence Still Lacking to Support Ivermectin as Treatment for COVID-19

Evidence Still Lacking to Support Ivermectin as Treatment for COVID-19

Randomized controlled trials haven’t found ivermectin is beneficial in treating COVID-19, although results for ongoing studies will provide a more definitive answer. Yet, a video presents two weak studies as “powerful” and “overwhelming” evidence that the medication works to combat COVID-19. 

Facebook Post Misleads on NIH’s Position on Ivermectin

Facebook Post Misleads on NIH’s Position on Ivermectin

The National Institutes of Health has not recommended and the Food and Drug Administration has not approved ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. But a Facebook post misleadingly implies that an article published on the NIH website is an endorsement of the drug to treat COVID-19. The NIH and FDA have said more clinical studies are needed.  

Social Media Posts Repeat Inaccurate Reporting on Ivermectin and Omicron

Social Media Posts Repeat Inaccurate Reporting on Ivermectin and Omicron

A Japanese company found that the antiparasitic drug ivermectin showed an “antiviral effect” against the omicron variant in a lab setting. Reuters has corrected a story in which it “misstated” that the drug was effective in a phase 3 clinical trial with human subjects. Some social media users have repeated Reuters’ reporting error but have not repeated the correction.

Japan Continues to Use Vaccines, Not Ivermectin, to Fight COVID-19

Japan Continues to Use Vaccines, Not Ivermectin, to Fight COVID-19

More than 70% of Japan’s population has received the COVID-19 vaccines, and the government is moving ahead with a booster shot in December. But a conservative radio host in the U.S. falsely claimed, “Japan drops vax rollout, goes to Ivermectin.” Japan hasn’t stopped its vaccine program and hasn’t approved ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment.

Merck, Pfizer COVID-19 Antivirals Different From Ivermectin

Merck, Pfizer COVID-19 Antivirals Different From Ivermectin

Merck and Pfizer are each developing a new oral antiviral drug that might prevent or treat COVID-19. The pills are very different from the antiparasitic medication ivermectin, contrary to claims online that they are “suspiciously similar” or that the companies are “repackaging” ivermectin in a ploy to increase profits.

Posts Spread Dubious Claim About Ivermectin and Male Fertility

Posts Spread Dubious Claim About Ivermectin and Male Fertility

The Food and Drug Administration says male infertility is not a known side effect of the antiparasitic medication ivermectin. Dubious claims that the drug sterilizes 85% of male users were incorrectly attributed to a questionable 2011 study of the drug’s effect on a small sample of Nigerian men with onchocerciasis, a tropical disease also known as “river blindness.”

Social Media Post on Use of Ivermectin for Refugees Lacks Context

Social Media Post on Use of Ivermectin for Refugees Lacks Context

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of ivermectin as a treatment for arriving refugees to treat parasitic infections. But a social media post by Dr. Simone Gold, a proponent of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, references the CDC guidance without accurately explaining the reason why refugees are given the drug. The CDC has warned against using ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Ongoing Clinical Trials Will Decide Whether (or Not) Ivermectin Is Safe, Effective for COVID-19

Ongoing Clinical Trials Will Decide Whether (or Not) Ivermectin Is Safe, Effective for COVID-19

Studies on whether ivermectin is beneficial in treating COVID-19 patients haven’t been conclusive, and health officials have warned people not to self-medicate. But multiple large trials are continuing to assess the antiparasitic drug. Yet, Sen. Rand Paul reportedly said researchers were “unwilling to objectively study” it because of “hatred” for Donald Trump. He later acknowledged studies are being done. Here we review the research.