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0 0.5 1 1.5 2+ Mortality -33% Improvement Relative Risk Ventilation -33% Hospitalization 33% primary Viral clearance -5% Viral clearance (b) -27% Vallejos et al. Ivermectin for COVID-19 RCT EARLY Favors ivermectin Favors control
Ivermectin to prevent hospitalizations in patients with COVID-19 (IVERCOR-COVID19) a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Vallejos et al., BMC Infectious Diseases, doi:10.1186/s12879-021-06348-5
2 Jul 2021    Source   PDF   Share   Tweet
RCT with 501 relatively low-risk outpatients in Argentina showing hospitalization OR 0.65 [0.32-1.31]. With only 7% hospitalization, this trial is underpowered. The trial primarily includes low-risk patients that recover quickly without treatment, leaving minimal room for improvement with treatment. 74 patients had symptoms for >= 7 days. Among the 7 patients requiring ventilation, authors note that the earlier requirement in the ivermectin group may be due to those patients having higher severity at baseline. However, authors know the answer to this - it is unclear why it is not reported. There were more adverse events in the placebo group than the ivermectin group, suggesting a possible issue with dispensing or non-trial medication usage. 25+% of patients were hospitalized within 2/3 days for the placebo/treatment groups (Figure S2).
The companion prophylaxis study [IVERCOR PREP] has reported results in the press and an online presentation [,], however these results have not yet been formally published. The prophylaxis study results are very positive and statistically significant, and would be expected to receive priority publication due to the predicted impact on the pandemic and confirmation of previous prophylaxis studies. The lack of formal publication suggests a negative publication bias that may be due to politicization in the authors' location.
Authors pre-specify multivariate analysis but do not present it, however multivariate analysis could significantly change the results. Consider for example if just a few extra patients in the ivermectin group were in severe condition based on baseline SpO2. The lower mean SpO2 in the ivermectin group, and the shorter time to ventilation, are consistent with this being the case. Additionally, there are 14% more male patients in the ivermectin group.
An extremely large percentage of patients (55%) were excluded based on ivermectin use in the last 7 days. However, ivermectin may retain efficacy much longer (for example antiparasitic activity may persist for months [Canga]). A significant number of patients may also misrepresent their prior and future usage — the population is clearly aware of ivermectin, and patients with progressing disease may be motivated to take it, knowing that they may be in the control group. Another report states that 12,000 patients were excluded for recent use of ivermectin []).
RCTs have a fundamental bias against finding an effect for interventions that are widely available — patients that believe they need treatment are more likely to decline participation and take the intervention [Yeh], i.e., RCTs are more likely to enroll low-risk participants that do not need treatment to recover (this does not apply to the typical pharmaceutical trial of a new drug that is otherwise unavailable). This trial was run in a community where ivermectin was very widely known and used.
For other issues see [].
There were no serious adverse events. NCT04529525 (history).
risk of death, 33.5% higher, RR 1.33, p = 0.70, treatment 4 of 250 (1.6%), control 3 of 251 (1.2%), odds ratio converted to relative risk.
risk of mechanical ventilation, 33.5% higher, RR 1.33, p = 0.70, treatment 4 of 250 (1.6%), control 3 of 251 (1.2%), odds ratio converted to relative risk.
risk of hospitalization, 33.0% lower, RR 0.67, p = 0.23, treatment 14 of 250 (5.6%), control 21 of 251 (8.4%), NNT 36, odds ratio converted to relative risk, primary outcome.
risk of no viral clearance, 5.0% higher, RR 1.05, p = 0.55, treatment 137 of 250 (54.8%), control 131 of 251 (52.2%), inverted to make RR<1 favor treatment, odds ratio converted to relative risk, day 3.
risk of no viral clearance, 26.8% higher, RR 1.27, p = 0.29, treatment 38 of 250 (15.2%), control 30 of 251 (12.0%), inverted to make RR<1 favor treatment, odds ratio converted to relative risk, day 12.
Effect extraction follows pre-specified rules prioritizing more serious outcomes. Submit updates
Vallejos et al., 2 Jul 2021, Double Blind Randomized Controlled Trial, Argentina, peer-reviewed, 29 authors, average treatment delay 4.0 days, dosage 12mg days 1-2, <80kg 12mg, 80-110kg 18mg, >110kg 24mg.
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