Can a head lice drug kill Coronavirus?

What a strange turn up for the books. A head lice product that isn’t that effective against head lice may be a cure for Covid-19 virus!

Signs that this might be the case came from work by scientists at Australia’s Monash University and the Doherty Institute. Tests in their laboratories suggested that Ivermectin showed signs of stopping SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, from reproducing within 24 to 48 hours.

As a drug Ivermectin has also been shown in laboratory tests to stop other viruses, specifically HIV, dengue, influenza and Zika from replicating.

Promise and caution

It must be stressed however that this has all been in its early stages and only in laboratory conditions. It will take time to really understand if it will be the wonder drug for Covid-19 as some experts are suggesting. Testing it on humans is some way off.  

Those trials will need to be very rigorous amongst people who have been exposed to Covid-19 as its safety will be paramount.

In terms of how it might work against Covid-19 or Corona-virus, it is believed that it inhibits how the virus proteins move around and therefore how it replicates in the body. 

What is invermectin?

Ivermectin is a drug that has been around for a long time. It is primarily used for treating head lice and scabies in a cream or lotion form. It has also been used to treat other parasitic diseases related to people, pets, and animals. Testing has also shown it to be effective against other viruses such as HIV, Zika, influenza and Dengue too.

It is not a common ingredient in head lice products in the UK. In-fact, research has shown that Invermectin is not at all effective in treating head lice. However, it is much more effective against other parasites.  

Will head lice treatment kill Corona?

It is really important for people to understand that research on Ivermectin and how it may cure Covid-19 is in its very early stages. It has only been conducted in a laboratory so far. Real-life ineffectiveness of head lice treatments shows that what works in the laboratory does not necessarily replicate itself in the community.

The scientists are very clear that, at present, this drug is not fit for purpose in treating Covid-19 until all the research necessary is done and it is trialled in humans.

Whilst we want and need a solution to this terrible pandemic it is vital we all understand that it is too early to know if the promising signs in the laboratory tests will translate into a safe and effective drug for coronavirus patients. 

With that in mind, do not use or stock up on head lice treatment with Ivermectin as its main ingredient. 

What are the side effects of invermectin?

Ivermectin can cause a variety of  side effects including: 

  • Drowsiness 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea

Ivermectin may also react with other medicines such as the blood-thinning drug warfarin or worsen some medical conditions like asthma.

Not-proven to cure Covid-19

At the Hairforce we think that it is very dangerous to think that Ivermectin head lice products can help to fight or prevent Covid-19. Do not attempt to use head lice products to either treat head lice infestations or the Corona-virus. 

We would strongly suggest that anyone suffering with Corona-19 virus symptoms should use the NHS 111 phone line to get advice. Please stay safe during this un-certain time.

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