SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Through the COVID-19 pandemic medical experts have warned the public about unapproved alternative treatments.

Family and friends of a woman dying from the virus came together Saturday to pray outside CoxHealth. The family wants to now why families can’t have more say when it comes with alternative treatments.

There are claims by some that Ivermectin prescriptions work for Covid. Most in the medical community say there isn’t enough evidence.

The National Institute for Health lists it as being under evaluation….but more trials are needed. The FDA, American Medical Association have not endorsed it.

But this family in desperation- wants to know what would it hurt to try?

CoxHealth released this statement:

At this time, the consistently clear lack of evidence from controlled trials does not support the use of Ivermectin as proven way to fight COVID-19, which is why we do not give it to our patients. Early in the pandemic, when we were desperate for treatments, we did utilize some of these repurposed medications. They do not help hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

We understand the desire to simply try various treatments in the hopes of them helping in some way. However, as a health care provider, we are held to legal and ethical standards when serving our patients. Part of this responsibility is to give care that has been proven to be effective specifically for the intended use, and that has been found to be safe through a study of its safety data.

While we always engage our patients in their care and consult with them on recommendations in shared decision making, we do not routinely allow patient requests for direction of their treatment, especially when the evidence does not support it. This is true for most diseases or conditions. If a patient wants a blood transfusion, for example, and it’s not indicated, then we don’t do it. Given the information we have, use of Ivermectin for COVID falls into this same category.

Additionally, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the World Health Organization, the FDA, the American Medical Association and other organizations do not endorse Ivermectin’s use for treatment of COVID, either. While there are claims that Ivermectin has helped some recover from COVID, we have also seen many patients hospitalized who have taken it, and some have even died.

This being said, we routinely use the treatments that are proven to be effective. We have witnessed some encouraging results in early treatment of mild disease with monoclonal antibodies, and even in some cases, we have seen benefits with dexamethasone, tocilizumab and baricitinib in severely ill patients.

Ultimately, there is no evidence that Ivermectin helps hospitalized patients. Most of the claims that it helps are tied to patients who ultimately would not have been hospitalized. While we are glad they recovered, their avoidance of hospitalization is typical of the natural course of this disease — given that there is a low death rate from COVID — and it does not reflect a benefit from the use of Ivermectin.