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- Ivermectin appears on a list of drugs being evaluated to treat COVID-19, but the National Institutes of Health isn’t recommending people use it.
The National Institutes of Health has recommended against using ivermectin to treat COVID-19 except in clinical trials, but recent social media posts claim the federal agency has quietly OK’d the drug.
"NIH adds ivermectin to list of COVID approved treatments," a Sept. 1 Instagram post from One America News said.
In a Sept. 7 Facebook post, comedian Russell Brand said "yesterday, the National Institutes of Health added ivermectin to the list of COVID treatments."
The posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Brand’s post included an image of a page about "COVID-19 treatment guidelines" and "antiviral therapy" on the NIH’s website.
"These sections summarize the data on ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir, remdesivir, and other antiviral medications," the original page says. Among the medications listed is ivermectin.
"Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug that is being evaluated to treat COVID-19," it reads.
But its inclusion here isn’t new.
We searched archived versions of this page and found one from as long ago as June 2021. The same language about ivermectin was on the page then, too.
PolitiFact emailed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases press office about this. The statement the agency sent back confirmed there had been no change.
"The inclusion of ivermectin to the treatment guidelines is not new," the statement read. "Importantly, the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines panel recommends against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19." This recommendation largely hinges on the results of recently published randomized controlled trials. "The primary outcomes of these trials showed that the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 had no clinical benefit," NIH wrote.
These guidelines are updated regularly as new data becomes available, the institute said, but this is not such a case.
We rate this post False.
Instagram post, Sept. 1, 2022
Facebook post, Sept. 7, 2022
PolitiFact, Scientific evidence does not support ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, April 13, 2022
National Institutes of Health, Ivermectin, last updated April 29, 2022
National Institutes of Health, Antiviral Therapy, visited Sept. 7, 2022
National Institutes of Health, Antiviral therapy, archived June 12, 2021
Emailed statement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Sept. 7, 2022
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