The NIH COVID-19 treatments guidelines panel recommends against using ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, except in clinical trials.
Despite repeated attempts to refute misinformation about the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin as a potential COVID-19 treatment, false and misleading claims about the drug persist online. An image shared on Facebook and Twitter claims that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently listed ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. The post is accompanied by a screenshot from the U.S. medical research agency NIH website, which shows a box on ivermectin appears in the section dedicated to guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19. The user has cited an article published on the “enVolve” website. However, the claims on social media are seemingly taken out of context.
The page dedicated to ivermectin does not say the NIH recommends using anti-parasitic drugs to treat COVID-19. The entry for ivermectin on the NIH’s website leads to a page detailing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a government agency that deals with the regulation of food and pharmaceutical products, has not approved it for the treatment of any viral infections. In addition, the NIH expert group recommends “not to use ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, except in clinical trials.”
According to archived caches stored by the Wayback Machine, data for ivermectin studies has been listed on the antiviral therapies page on the NIH website since June 2021, but has not been recently listed. The specific ivermectin page, recently updated on April 29, 2022, noted that data from clinical trials do not provide evidence that the use of ivermectin benefits the treatment of COVID-19. While the NIH’s summary recommendations were updated on August 8, 2022, it is worth noting that Remdesivir is the only FDA-approved drug to treat COVID-19 under evaluation.
The FDA recommends against using ivermectin for treating COVID-19, and most health experts and agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), recommend against prescribing the anti-parasitic drug. It also does not appear on the FDA’s list of treatment options for COVID-19.
The information on the website enVolve cannot be considered trustworthy, as several disclaimers on the site absolve it of responsibility from any user uploads: “We are not responsible, or liable to any third party, for the content or accuracy of any User Uploads posted by you or any other user of the Website.” In addition, they state, “The information presented on or through the Website is made available solely for general information and entertainment purposes.”
Logically has previously debunked claims related to ivermectin and COVID-19. Logically found that a small number of trials have shown positive results of the drug against COVID-19, but there is no conclusive evidence. Ivermectin-related misinformation has been widely disseminated throughout the pandemic. Previously, people have misinterpreted other NIH guidelines for treating COVID-19.
Although the NIH website image is authentic, it does not imply that the medicine is a suggested treatment for COVID-19. Ivermectin is not advised for use in the management of COVID-19, according to the COVID-19 Treatments Guidelines Panel. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.