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Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that experiments in test tubes have shown some positive results, but that tests on living organisms have not. — AFP pic
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that experiments in test tubes have shown some positive results, but that tests on living organisms have not. — AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Clinical trials on the use of antiparasitic drug Ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19 are ongoing, but have been inconclusive so far, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today even as the Health Ministry reported two cases of acute poisoning from self-prescribed consumption.

The Health director-general said that experiments in test tubes (also known as in vitro tests) have shown some positive results, but that tests on living organisms (in vivo tests) have not.

He warned that there are grave dangers and complications to patients should they consume Ivermectin as treatment for Covid-19 as high doses are needed to have an antiviral effect.

“Now we talk about Ivermectin, again it is very inconclusive. In in vitro, there are some results but in in vivo studies, it is inconclusive. 

“Then you need to have a high dose of Ivermectin to achieve the antiviral impact and that high dose has complications that are not being mentioned,” he said at the Malaysian Healthcare Conventions 2021 today.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry is currently testing three new drugs for Covid-19 treatment.

“Three new drugs have been identified, hopefully it will have an impact.

“Anyway, we are doing the clinical trial and the result will be available next month and we will take it from there,” he said.

During the conference, Dr Noor Hisham was also asked about the necessity of providing a third Covid-19 vaccine dose as a booster.

He said the ministry will wait for more data before deciding on whether or not on the booster shots.

He explained that the time needed for the body’s immune response to be activated for immunity will take about eight months to one year.

“We are still waiting on more evidence on whether we need the booster. I think we need the booster in time but not now,” he said.

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