Discover more from Meryl’s COVID Newsletter
Treating COVID-19 in 2023
Since RFK, Jr. suggested going to my website for info on HCQ and IVM during his Town Hall yesterday with Sean Hannity, I am updating the info.
Here is the 3 minute clip of RFK and Sean Hannity discussing COVID treatment in which I am mentioned.
What’s New with respect to Treatment?
The COVID-19 virus has mutated considerably since it was sequenced in Wuhan in December 2019. I heard Dr. Didier Raoult, one of the pioneers in the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, recently state that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is much less effective against current COVID variants than it used to be. I cannot find a document to cite so I don’t have any more to say about that.
But he would know, so perhaps ivermectin should be our go-to drug for COVID-19 today, in addition to vitamin D, nasal irrigation with non-irritating viral killers like dilute betadine (iodine) solutions, and other supplemental items as needed. As always, the FLCCC guidelines are my go-to source:
But what about the research supporting the use of ivermectin? As RFK, Jr. said, there are currently 99 controlled trials (total) that have looked at how ivermectin prevented COVID deaths, hospitalizations, ICU stays, ventilation, and cases. Several of the studies were funded by Bill Gates and other shady characters and those studies’ methods are extremely questionable. I have written about that before, as have Tess Lawrie, Pierre Kory, Phil Harper and many others.
Don’t think fraudulent trials are rare. Consider the returns: $ Billions are likely if you convince the FDA to license your product. At least 1/4 of clinical trials might be fatally flawed.
Only a subset of studies looked at each of these outcomes, which are called ‘endpoints.’ The wonderful website C19study.com has collected all the studies for all the drugs and OTC remedies used for COVID-19, and has broken them down into different categories, as well as displaying useful information with great graphics. [That the hardworking authors remain anonymous to avoid repercussions tells you something.]
If you look at all these 99 studies together, including those that appear to me and others to be fraudulent, you get the following statistics regarding ivermectin: 77% show benefit and 23% show harm. Including all the studies, the overall benefit is about 62%. Used prophylactically, the benefit is over 80%.
If, however, you look at only the best studies, chosen using very specific criteria as Dr. Harvey Risch has done, you find that ivermectin is 77% effective at preventing deaths and 69% effective at preventing hospitalizations. Mortality and hospitalization are considered solid, non-subjective endpoints.
National or regional governments in 22 countries recommended or provided ivermectin to their citizens for COVID.
Ivermectin has a long half life, and will last for weeks in your body’s tissues. Getting an adequate dose in early is important. It is difficult to overdose on ivermectin, unless you take the dose that is recommended for a horse or a moose. (I live in Maine.) IVM has very few side effects. You must check for drug interactions with other drugs you may be taking. Luckily, websites exist where you can do this yourself, such as this one. Ivermectin has many different pharmacologic actions, and while it is always best to take the drug early, it is also useful later in the disease.
The available data on hydroxychloroquine were mostly collected prior to the current variants. The drug was assuredly beneficial, since national or regional governments of 42 countries chose to recommend or provide hydroxychloroquine to COVID patients.
HCQ is a great drug with multiple actions, including viral inactivation and immune modulation. I have taken it several times and used it in 100 or 200 or more patients before COVID without problems—though I had to take one patient off it because someone else prescribed a high dose for too long.
However, it can cause fatal arrhythmias when overdosed. Therefore I urge anyone who uses it to be careful of the dose, which should be reduced in those weighing less than 60 kg (132 pounds). It also accumulates in the body tissues due to a very long half life, but its accumulation does not appear to cause cardiac rhythm issues, and is actually beneficial for COVID—a 5 or 7 day course would last several weeks.
The c19study.org org website reveals that there are now 402 controlled trials of HCQ for COVID. Most show benefit. However, several of the largest studies used too-high doses of HCQ, which almost certainly led to excess deaths in those studies. I believe these studies were designed to make the drug appear dangerous. I discussed these studies at length in 2020 and two of my several articles were reposted here and here.
HCQ must be given early to be really effective, unlike ivermectin, so I tend to only look at studies in which the drug was given early. If you wait till someone is hospitalized before using this drug, usually 10-14 days into the illness, it has very little benefit. When given early, mortality is reduced by 72%. Throwing all the early treatment studies (37) together with the different endpoints, the benefit is 62% overall. Only 3 of the 37 were negative, and all were small studies. Here is the list:
Most of the 402 studies were in hospitalized patients, (easier to perform because the patients come to you, and you don’t have to beat the bushes to recruit them) — but the problem with this is that HCQ does not do much once the virus is dead, which occurs about 10 days after disease onset. Unless you are highly immunocompromised, the later stage of COVID illness that occurs in some people is due to your body attacking itself. Most people go to hospital in the second stage of illness, when it is too late for HCQ, and the primary drug needed is a steroid to suppress the immune response.
If you restrict the studies you evaluate to only the best studies, Dr. Harvey Risch drew the following conclusions, with extremely statistically significant results:
“Every one of 10 studies of high-risk outpatient hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) use has shown risk reduction for hospitalization or mortality. Meta-analysis demonstrates 44% reduction in hospitalization, and 75% reduction in mortality.”
Having said all this, COVID is no longer the killer it once was. Most people who develop COVID now have a degree of immunity from prior exposure (nearly 100% in the US) and the virus is less virulent. Most COVID cases will not require these medications. But if you do need them, I hope this discussion has been helpful.