An Ohio judge on Monday, August 30, ruled in favor of the use of ivermectin in treating a COVID-19 patient, a therapy that so far had not been approved by federal health agencies for combatting the virus.

The order of the controversial drug was made last week by Judge Gregory Howard following an August 20 lawsuit by Julie Smith on behalf of her 51-year-old husband, Jeffrey Smith, who has been struggling with COVID-19 in the ICU at West Chester Hospital, according to WLWT.

Julie claimed in her lawsuit that her husband had been on a ventilator for 19 days after his Remdesivir, plasma, and steroids treatment had failed.

Feeling hopeless, Julie reached out to their physician Dr. Fred Wagshul, who had recommended ivermectin, the widely rumored effective therapy for COVID-19 patients. 

But their hospital had declined to prescribe Jeffrey the drug as it had not been officially accepted by federal health agencies in the U.S. 

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Ivermectin is known for treating parasitic worms in animals and humans. But it stressed that “ivermectin products for animals are different from ivermectin products for people.”

In regards to COVID-19 treatment, the FDA only said it had not “reviewed data to support the use of Ivermectin in COVID-19 patients to treat or to prevent COVID-19,” hence, would not recommend its use. 

Ms. Julia said in the complaint that she signed a full release freeing the hospital from any and all liability related to the ivermectin administration, and her plea was accepted by judge Howard.

Thanks to the ruling, Jeffrey would now receive ivermectin treatment following their physician’s prescription, which would be a daily consumption of 30-mg dose over a period of 21 days. 

In its statement about ivermectin for COVID-19, the agency had warned about people seeking the wrong type of ivermectin for animals, which could lead to poisoning. It said such reports had been common. 

The FDA on August 21 once again on Twitter stated the problem when people mistakenly seek ivermectin for animals to treat their COVID-19 dilemmas: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

In terms of its effectiveness in helping COVID-19 patients, the FDA put it shortly: “some initial research is underway,” adding that it “can be very dangerous.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, ivermectin was certified in 1996 and among the four billion doses administered since 1998, only 28 cases of serious neurological adverse events were reported. The medicine was also said to be safe for use in pregnant women, children, and infants. 

A June 2020 study published in the journal Antiviral Research, as WSJ mentioned, found out that ivermectin “fights 21 viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the cause of Covid-19. A single dose reduced the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in cells by 99.8% in 24 hours and 99.98% in 48 hours.”

While uncertainties about ivermectin’s power with COVID-19 had been due to not yet available data for view, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) on August 27 accused the tentative research into this medicine had been due to “the hatred” for former President Donald Trump, who had endorsed it after rallying from his coronavirus infection. 

“The hatred for Trump deranged these people so much that they’re unwilling to objectively study it,” Paul said as reported by Cincinnati Enquirer

Rand Paul, a Republican, opposes the vaccine mandate but noting that he is “in the middle ground of the vaccines,” per The Hill.   

And as he is open to the vaccines, he also will “keep an open mind” with ivermectin although he had not been certain if it works.

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