Baguio City, Philippines – While there is an ongoing study in the country regarding the efficacy of Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, Dr. Bernard Demot, an infectious disease specialist at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), said they do not recommend the use of the said anti-parasitic drug on Covid-19 patients because there is no sufficient scientific evidence yet that proves about its effectiveness against the virus.
The doctor, as reported by the Baguio City Information Office, said that before doctors opt to administer ivermectin to their patients, it would be prudent for them to wait for the outcome of the study.
Demot said while waiting for the result, ‘the country should continue focusing on the proven and recommended measures against Covid-19.’
“We have to intensify the vaccination roll-out, strengthen the public’s adherence to minimum health standards, and strengthen the healthcare capacity of the city, so that we can avoid severe cases in times of surges,” Demot stressed.
Dr. Samantha Bartolo, another infectious disease specialist at the BGHMC, mentioned a result of a recent study done in Malaysia on the use of ivermectin as Covid-19 treatment.
“The study showed that there is no benefit in the use of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment and that it may cause diarrhea. As physicians, we follow the principle ‘Do not harm.’
Therefore, we will not advocate its use until there is further evidence,” Bartolo stated.
FDA North Luzon Operating Officer Gomel Gabuna, on the other hand, warned the public against the use of ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial as it might have adverse effects when its consumption is unsupervised.
Gabuna said the FDA has approved the use of ivermectin only for treating parasites and skin diseases of animals, but not as an oral medicine for humans.
“Medical practitioners have to acquire a compassionate special permit (CSP) from the FDA before prescribing ivermectin to Covid-19 patients,” Gabuna said.
A CSP is granted to physicians or hospitals for the use of investigational drugs that are not yet registered or in the process of registration here in the country for treating serious illnesses. The CSP holder must take full responsibility for the use of the requested drug product.
Gabuna, however, sternly warns about the effect of ivermectin when used on humans in treating Covid-19 because, according to him, a patient can die of ivermectin.
Meanwhile, two of the most prominent ivermectin advocates in the country, Dr. Allan Landrito and Dr. Jose Oclarit, insist ivermectin has anti-viral properties and can “destroy the spike protein and viral material that causes Covid-19 infection.”
Landrito claimed that ivermectin can help Covid-19 patients improve by 96%, citing studies conducted worldwide and his own study.
“We are in an emergency situation. I have to give ivermectin to my patients right away,” he added.
Oclarit also claimed that many of his patients have already been recovered from the virus by taking ivermectin.
“From the time I first encountered ivermectin, I have had more than a hundred patients that recovered from the COVID-19 infection by taking ivermectin coupled with Vitamin D3 at a rate of 5,000 units per day, Vitamin C at a rate of 12,000 mg per day, and zinc,” Oclarit said.
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