Led by the University of Oxford, PRINCIPLE is investigating treatments for people at more risk of serious illness from COVID-19 which can speed up recovery, reduce the severity of symptoms and prevent the need for hospital admission. The study has so far recruited more than 5,000 volunteers from across the UK.
Ivermectin is a safe, broad spectrum antiparasitic drug which is in wide use globally to treat parasitic infections.
With known antiviral properties, ivermectin has been shown to reduce SARS-CoV-2 replication in laboratory studies. Small pilot studies show that early administration with ivermectin can reduce viral load and the duration of symptoms in some patients with mild COVID-19. Even though ivermectin is used routinely in some countries to treat COVID-19, there is little evidence from large-scale randomised controlled trials to demonstrate that it can speed up recovery from the illness or reduce hospital admission.