Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that infects more than 400 million people every year. It can be treated with Ivermectin, but does it really work? Let’s explore the facts to find out how effective this drug is.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection. It can be either asymptomatic or cause flu-like symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, nausea, and vomiting for between two and seven days. The illness usually goes away on its own but in some cases, it can progress to become life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) characterized by low blood pressure and difficulty breathing which may lead to death if not recognized promptly and treated aggressively with intravenous fluids and medicines.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever has recently emerged as an important cause of morbidity and mortality among children living in urban slums of Africa where crowded conditions facilitate the transmission of the virus from one person to another.
In addition, there are four types of dengue viruses (DENV-0, DENV-I, DENV-II, and DENV-III) that vary in their geographic distribution.
Dengue Fever as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD)
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), NTDs are “a diverse group of diseases and other health conditions that primarily affect people in low-income countries, directly or indirectly cause morbidity and mortality, detract from the quality of life and contribute to poverty”.
Dengue fever has been classified by WHO as one such NTD. This is because there is no vaccine against dengue fever; it cannot be prevented through vector control (since vectors are present in many parts of the world), and it is often difficult to diagnose clinically (since symptoms overlap with other viral infections). The presence of these factors means that dengue fever has not received the attention from pharmaceutical companies needed for drug development.
Dengue Fever Treatment in Low-Income Countries
Treatment includes rest, drinking a lot of fluids, and taking analgesia for fever, headache, myalgia (muscle pain), and arthralgia (joint ache). Aspirin must be avoided because it increases the risk of hemorrhage.
In severe cases with low blood pressure or shock, dengue treatment is similar to that used in the management of other forms of acute shock such as septic shock. This includes the use of intravenous fluids and vasoactive drugs (medicines that cause dilation), but more specific treatment with plasma expanders, hemodilution, or blood transfusion may be required for those who do not respond to fluid resuscitation alone.
Dengue Fever Drug Development: Ivermectin
Ivermectin is a drug used in the treatment of onchocerciasis (river blindness) and other skin diseases caused by parasitic worms. In 1986, Ivermectin was found to be effective against the adult stage of the “larval form” or immature mosquitoes that carry the dengue fever virus.
Ivermectin will kill the larvae of dengue fever. However, there are no studies yet on how Ivermectin treatment affects patients with DHF or dengue fever who have already developed more serious symptoms including bleeding and shock.
Does Ivermectin Treat Dengue?
There are a number of medications available to treat Dengue. One of these is Ivermectin, which is used to treat filariasis and river blindness as well as dengue. It’s not clear how well it works at treating the disease, but it may be worth considering for those who can’t afford other treatments or who have no access to them.
In order to learn more about Ivermectin and its effectiveness in treating dengue fever, we need a little background information first: what is Ivermectin? And what does this drug do? Let’s find out!
Ivermectin was originally developed by Merck & Co., Inc. in 1981 as a treatment for parasitic infections. It has been approved by the FDA for these uses in humans, cattle, and dogs throughout much of the world since 1987. Ivermectin was also used to help control rates of blindness caused by river blindness in West Africa, but this disease is now rare thanks to widespread treatment with ivermectin.
Is the Drug Effective?
While there have been numerous studies looking at whether or not ivermectin can treat dengue, the results are mixed. One study done in Thailand found that it worked best for those who were infected with one of four specific viruses (it didn’t work well against other strains). Another trial showed that ivermectin plus doxycycline decreased fever more than just doxycycline alone.
Unfortunately, there was no follow-up testing done to see if the fever stayed down or whether or not patients were actually cured of dengue. Ivermectin was also tested in a study conducted by Thailand’s Dr. Nosten, but it did not appear to decrease rates of death among those who took part in this trial.
The World Health Organization is not yet convinced that Ivermectin works well enough to be considered part of the standard treatment for dengue. However, it may offer patients an alternative when they are unable to get access to other drugs or have trouble affording them.
While there’s still a lot more research needed before we know how effective ivermectin is at treating dengue fever, it seems to offer some hope for people with this disease.
The topic of Ivermectin’s effectiveness in treating dengue fever is controversial. There are many questions about how to treat the disease which need answers for those who suffer from it. This article has shown some information on what we know so far, but there need to be more clinical trials done before any conclusive evidence can be found about if Ivermectin actually helps with the treatment of dengue fever. Hopefully, these clinical trials will take place soon enough to help answer these pressing medical questions!