The Health Ministry will conduct a clinical study on 500 patients to gauge the efficacy of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 symptoms.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the main objective of the study would be to establish whether the antiparasitic medicine is capable of treating patients in the advanced stages of COVID-19 infections.

According to him, the study will involve COVID-19 patients aged 50 and above, with at least one commorbidity, and admitted into hospital with mild symptoms on the first week of their infection.

"The study group will be split into two. We will see the difference between the number of deaths, mechanical ventilation, and the number of patients treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the effects of its usage.

"One of the groups will be administered 0.4 milligrammes of Ivermectin orally (based on their body weight) daily, for five consecutive days, while the second group will undergo normal treatment without the medication," Noor Hisham was quoted telling Harian Metro.

According to him, 200 patients have so far undergone the clinical study and the 500 target is expected to be achieved by this September.

"It is important for us to know that the Ivermectin dose used in this clinical study is higher than the permitted dose to treat parasitic infections.

"The clinical study subjects will be closely monitored by experienced doctors," he added.

Details of the study are available on, to ensure the research is done in a transparent manner, and to prevent any form of prejudice in the future.

"The use of this medicine to treat COVID-19 must be based on scientific evidence, and not on personal views or public sentiment," Noor Hisham stressed.

According to the report, a total of 140 experts from various fields are involved in this study at 18 government hospitals, nationwide. These include infectious disease experts, specialist doctors, medical officers, pharmacists, and also researchers from the Clinical Research Centre (CRC).

Ivermectin is currently not approved for the use of COVID-19 treatment or prevention in Malaysia. It is only endorsed for off-lable usage and for clinical usage, by the Health Ministry. However, the medicine, which is widely used to treat parasitic infections in animals, is still being widely sold and used by people here.

Side effects from the medicine can include skin rash which might necessitate hospitalisation, nausea, vomiting, stomach distress and diarrhea, swelling, sudden low blood pressure and liver damage, as well as seizures and disorientation.

Source: Harian Metro
Photo source: Berita Harian