MUSC participating in study on effectiveness of outpatient COVID-19 treatments, including Ivermectin

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – MUSC is participating in a trial led by Duke University researchers which explores three drugs as outpatient COVID-19 treatment options.

The trial, named ACTIV-6, is studying “fluticasone, a corticosteroid often used for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that is delivered via inhaler; fluvoxamine, an antidepressant in pill form; and ivermectin, a drug that is used to treat parasitic infections,” often in farm animals.

Previously, MUSC doctors cautioned against the unauthorized and unsupervised use of Ivermectin, which many people were buying from agricultural stores.

Dr. Leslie Lenert, director of the Biomedical Informatics Center at MUSC, said that the trial is a great way to get to the bottom of the Ivermectin debate:

“If you believe in it – get into a clinical trial. If you don’t believe in it – get into a clinical trial. Let’s get the answer out, and let’s stop fighting each other over it.” 

Dr. Rami Zebian, chief medical officer of MUSC in Florence, said that the trial could also help expand the options that healthcare providers have for treating patients.

“Currently, there are limited treatment options that are FDA-approved that doctors can offer to patients with COVID-19 who aren’t sick enough to be in the hospital. Monoclonal antibody infusions are available on an outpatient basis for high-risk patients, but mainly patients are told to stay home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and possibly take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever. This trial will allow us to determine possible treatment options for patients to benefit from.”

Dr. Rami Zebian

The trial is open to all eligible South Carolina residents. Dr. Lenert said that hospital visits are not required, as the trial is “completely remote.”

Participants will be able to choose which drug they would like to test, and will be randomly assigned to either receive the drug or a placebo. Those who have no preference will be randomly assigned a drug.

The drug (or placebo) and a pulse oximeter will be mailed to the participant, who will complete daily online surveys and occasional phone questionnaires.

To be eligible, participants must:

  • Be over 30 years old. 
  • Have had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 10 days. 
  • Be experiencing at least two of the following symptoms: feeling tired, trouble breathing, fever, cough, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches or chills, headache, sore throat, stuffy nose or new loss of taste or smell.

All participants will receive a $100 Amazon gift card after 90 days of participation. Click here for more information on how to sign up.

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