The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to replace Hydroxychloroquine with Ivermectin for prevention and treatment of Covid-19.
An order specifying the dosage and use of Ivermectin for both prevention as well as treatment has been issued by Additional Chief Secretary (Health & Medicine) Amit Mohan Prasad to all the chief medical officers in the state.
Sources in the government said that the decision to replace Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) with Ivermectin was taken after encouraging results in Agra, where it was used on an experimental basis.
Sources said that the medicine proved effective in not only in the treatment of Covid-19 patients but also in preventing large scale infection among frontline health workers engaged in the treatment and handling of Covid-19 patients.
“There were a lot of issues with HCQ. Therefore, we have now been instructed to instead use Ivermectin as per the prescribed doses. We will start distribution of the medicine among frontline health workers and also during contact tracing from Saturday onwards,” said Lucknow Chief Medical Officer Dr RP Singh.
The decision and the dosage protocol of the drug were finalised at a meeting of medical experts chaired by Director General Medical and Health on August 4.
For Covid patients, Ivermectin along with Doxycyclin has been prescribed.
For healthcare workers, it has been suggested to give Ivermectin dose on first, seventh and 30th day and then once a month.
However, as a caution, Ivermectin has not been advised for pregnant women or children below two years, just like Doxycyclin. Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum drug with potentials effects to treat a range of diseases, with its antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-cancer properties, according to Nature. In its June 12 article, the science journal wrote that 5 µM of Ivermectin brought about 5000-fold reduction in viral RNA of SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 virus and the drug effectively kills almost all viral particles within 48 hours.