Even as the search for the coronavirus vaccine continues, there is a lot of confusion and contradictory views regarding usage of drugs to fight against COVID-19. Some health officials, including specialists from Melbourne, recently suggested to the doctors in India to prescribe Ivermectin, a drug used to treat lice and other parasites, to treat coronavirus.
Dr Shashikant Manikappa, specialist cardiac anesthetist of Monash Health, Melbourne (Australia), said that medications like Hydroxychloroquine, and more recently Ivermectin, had shown some promising results against coronavirus.
But despite some promising results, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) hasn't included Ivermectin in its treatment guidelines. The apex medical body hasn't recommended the use of the anti-parasite drug for coronavirus treatment. As per report, the research agency is reviewing the benefits of ivermectin as a potential therapy for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, ICMR has recommended use of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for prophylaxis of COVID-19 infection for high risk population, based on the emerging evidence on its safety and efficacy. As per the revised guidelines, this anti-parasitic drug can be used as a preventive medication for asymptomatic healthcare workers working in non-COVID-19 hospitals, frontline staff on surveillance duty in containment zones and police personnel involved in coronavirus infection related activities.
Indian companies Zydus Cadila and IPCA Laboratories are the largest makers of Hydroxychloroquine, and India supplies over 70 percent of the global demand for this drug. The Indian drug makers had increased their capacities several times to meet the demand for COVID-19 treatment globally.