The drug in question, ivermectin, is said to have killed the SARS-CoV-2 virus in less than 48 hours.
It has been widely used for decades, especially to combat lice, scabies and other infections caused by parasites.
According to the study to be published shortly by the medical journal Antiviral Research, ivermectin prevented the virus from reproducing.
The researchers infected cells with SARS-CoV-2. A single dose of ivermectin greatly reduced virus activity after 24 hours; after 48 hours, the virus had been eliminated.
One of the study’s authors explained that ivermectin appears to target a molecule the virus needs to reproduce. Ivermectin would therefore slow the proliferation of the virus enough to allow the immune system to gain the upper hand.
In previous studies, ivermectin had been shown to be effective against diseases such as dengue fever and an ability to curb infections similar to COVID-19, such as West Nile virus.
Further tests are now needed to verify if ivermectin works as well in vivo.
Anyone with access to ivermectin, including the veterinary version of the product, should not attempt to self-medicate.