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'We’re not encouraging people to just do it': Ivermectin included in MUSC drug trials for COVID-19

The trial is testing three drugs, one of which is ivermectin.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Medical University of South Carolina is working to find an outpatient drug for COVID19 patients. 

MUSC is currently a part of a national trial to  to test three common drugs in the fight against COVID-19, and they're looking for volunteers to help them.

“Helping people get better faster is really what this study is all about," says Dr. Leslie Lenert. Dr. Lenert is the director of the Biomedical Informatics Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, which is working with the Duke Clinical Research Institute to look at outpatient drug options to treat COVID-19 symptoms.

RELATED: MUSC testing alternative drugs to battle COVID-19, volunteers needed

“We don’t really have any treatments like a ‘Tamiflu’ for COVID-19. This is a study that is designed to look and see if existing drugs can be used to speed the resolution of symptoms," Dr. Lenert tells News19. 

Three drugs are being tested: fluticasone, an anti-asthma drug; fluvoxamine, an antidepressant; and the heavily debated drug ivermectin, used to treat parasitic infections.

“We’re not encouraging people to just do it," Dr. Lenert says. "We want people to take that enthusiasm and energy they have for the early results for that and help us get the scientific data to be sure.”

RELATED: The FDA has only fully approved one drug for treating COVID-19, and it’s not ivermectin

Right now the CDC and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) do not recommend Ivermectin as a treatment based on previous studies and the current evidence does not support it's use. Dr. Lenert adds there’s a difference between taking the drug in a monitored study versus just taking it on your own.

“We find that there’s so much controversy about this issue and people really want to do something to say is ivermectin effective? Is …? Effective? Are there any other ways that we can help people get better? Looking at our existing approved drugs, it’s a great way to do this because these drugs have already been shown to be safe enough. The question for people to use, the question is, are they effective?”

To be eligible for the trial, you have to be over 30, have had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 10 days and must be experiencing two or more symptoms.

Visit this website for more details.