Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Clinical Studies at the University of Peradeniya Dr. Ashoka Dangolla says Ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug used to treat animal worm diseases, is suitable for coronavirus mitigation as well.
Speaking to media in Kandy, Dr. Dangolla requested the drug to be administered to coronavirus patients at the earliest.
He said the drug can be obtained at a very low cost.
Dr. Dangolla said the drug was used to treat worm borne diseases and external parasites in animals and humans initially when manufactured in 1975.
He claimed the drug is widely used in African countries to treat humans.
He further claimed the drug is used to treat cases of Onchocerciasis also known as river blindness and Filariasis adding doctors have ample knowledge pertaining to the drug through its use.
Dr. Dangolla said he conducted research as to why worms build immunity against the drug when working on his dissertation for his doctorate in the 90s.
He claimed the use of this drug has been a major factor in delaying the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa adding the drug is more suitable to contain the spread of the virus and to reduce the number of COVID-deaths.
Dr. Dangolla said according to LD50 and ED50 the drug leaves the system through the liver in humans more than in animals.
He claimed Ivermectin is successfully being used in at least five countries including Goa and several other states in India, the Maldives, Bangladesh and African countries.
Dr. Dangolla said he believes there are two or three benefits of using Ivermectin.
When questioned by the media whether the drug is being manufactured in the country, he said Ivermectin is already being manufactured in Mawanella to treat worm related diseases in animals.
Dr. Dangolla said he noticed a shortage of the drug in pharmacies adding the reason being the high demand to treat the coronavirus.
However, according to foreign media, a recent review of 14 Ivermectin studies, with more than 1,600 participants, concluded that none provided evidence of the drug’s ability to prevent COVID, improve patient conditions or reduce mortality.