LAKELAND, Fla. - Lakeland Regional Health is taking part in a national study to see if Ivermectin has any effect on COVID-19 patients. So far, the hospital's chief medical officer says there's no evidence the drug works to fight the virus or its symptoms.
"I have not seen any legitimate studies that have proven it to be beneficial," Dr. Timothy Regan told FOX 13.
Ivermectin and two other medicines will be given to people with mild cases of COVID-19 in a double-blind study, with a placebo.
Along with Ivermectin, two other drugs are being tested: Fluticasone, which is typically used for asthma, and Fluvoxamine, which is usually given for depression and behavioral health issues.
All three are FDA approved, but not for COVID-19.
"There are a lot of different medications out there, and if we find one that we can repurpose and use for COVID, that is the important part of the study," Regan said.
Nationally, about 2,000 patients are enrolled in the study, with about two dozen of them in Lakeland.
The goal is to enroll 15,000 across the country.
"I think, in a lot of ways, the message has been misconstrued to the public," Regan commented. "Physicians and clinicians are not against Ivermectin. They’re against the concept that people decide one day they want to take a medication that suddenly has become trendy."
"Our job is to look at things scientifically, compare outcomes, and do what’s right for our patients," he continued.
The study is expected to take about a year to complete.