A recent UVA Today story on “new” COVID-19 treatments featured opinions of University of Virginia’s Dr. Patrick E. Jackson, an assistant professor and physician who provides HIV and other infectious disease care.
In discussing off-label use of ivermectin for treating COVID-19, Jackson warns of dire consequences:
As for the now-controversial drug ivermectin: Preliminary results from one randomized, placebo-controlled trial did not show any benefit for COVID-19 treatment. Two more trials, also randomized and placebo-controlled, are underway.
For now, based on current evidence, ivermectin should not be used to treat COVID-19 patients. When used incorrectly, this drug could cause serious harm. Ivermectin has been approved for treatment of parasitic worms and head lice; but using it off-label to treat COVID-19 has resulted in overdoses and hospitalizations. Ivermectin toxicity can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, confusion, seizures and death.
Jackson’s authoritative reference to “one” trial showing no benefit in using ivermectin to treat COVID-19, is disingenuous, at best.
The American Journal of Therapeutics August 2021 publication, Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Trial Sequential Analysis to Inform Clinical Guidelines, suggests direct contradiction to Dr. Jackson’s “advice” regarding ivermectin’s effectiveness in treating COVID and established safety:
Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.
And, documented ivermectin COVID treatment results in India affirm efficacy.
Dr. Jackson’s “chicken little” warning over “incorrect” use of ivermectin as an off-label treatment for COVID-19, reeks of hysteria. Medical professionals around the world recommend off-label use of aspirin as a blood thinner to help prevent stroke and heart disease. These recommendations come despite the also dire consequences of aspirin misuse, as chronicled by WebMD:
The earliest symptoms of acute aspirin poisoning may include ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and impaired hearing. More clinically significant signs and symptoms may include rapid breathing (hyperventilation), vomiting, dehydration, fever, double vision, and feeling faint.
Later signs of aspirin poisoning, or signs of more significant poisoning, can include drowsiness or confusion, bizarre behavior, unsteady walking, and coma.
Notwithstanding the life-threatening side-effects of aspirin abuse, that drug remains widely available and extremely affordable, to be used at the discretion of individual consumers for on- or off-label purposes—with or without the blessing of the corporate medical establishment.
Ironically, Dr. Jackson—an unapologetic COVID vaccine proponent—warns readers in his concluding paragraphs of the dangers of not following science and not recognizing the importance of time in scientific understanding of drug efficacy:
The urgent search for COVID-19 treatments has highlighted the need for high-quality science. Early on, limited studies led some to believe that hydroxychloroquine would be useful for COVID-19. But over time, more rigorous research showed the drug to have no value for COVID-19 treatment.
While his opinions on hydroxychloroquine (and ivermectin) have been disputed by various studies, his fevered vaccine advocacy defies the science of time and experience, as noted by Johns Hopkins University of Medicine:
A typical vaccine development timeline takes 5 to 10 years, and sometimes longer, to assess whether the vaccine is safe and efficacious in clinical trials, complete the regulatory approval processes, and manufacture sufficient quantity of vaccine doses for widespread distribution.
Physician, Dr. Jackson, heal thyself.
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