TreatmentsHead Lice Drug Ivermectin Being Studied as Possible Coronavirus Treatment

Published 14 April 2020

An antiparasitic drug sometimes used to treat head lice has undergone preliminary studies for use in the fight against the coronavirus — and has shown promising results, according to reports. Yaron Steinbuch writes in the New York Post that while recent reports have focused on the anti-malarial hydroxychloroquine as a possible miracle treatment, experts have expressed cautious optimism that ivermectin also could be used for COVID-19, ABC News reported. Ivermectin — which was developed in the 1970s and 1980s — was first used to treat tiny roundworms called nematodes in cattle, then for river blindness in humans, and most recently to rid people of head lice, ABC News reported. The drug’s antiparasitic prowess has landed it on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. And recently, a team of Australian scientists has studied ivermectin in vitro in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.