What Ivermectin Is All About?

What Ivermectin Is All About?

January 25, 2024


Ivermectin is a small-molecule medication that is gaining interest as a potential coronavirus treatment. It's an intriguing tale from a few angles. I decided it was time to take a look since I've been receiving several questions on it.

History of Ivermectin

Like many other intriguing natural compounds, it is derived from soil actinomycetes and belongs to a family of natural products called avermectins. With this chemical, I have a long history dating back to my graduate school days when a number of people in my former research group were attempting to synthesize the compound entirely. To give you some indication, it was affectionately (or not so) called "Nevermectin" in the group.

One reason it was difficult to manufacture is visible if you look down in the "southeast" of the molecule. Organic chemists in the audience will notice that deconjugated enone is made up of double-bonded carbons that skip a carbon and aren't near to the carbonyl. It was quite annoying to get that device in that position and, worse, to keep it there, as you may guess. The remainder of the ring structure down there, the spiroketal in the northeast, the macrolide polyene ring, and the glycosyls that come off of it are all considered "doable with time and effort" structural elements.

Two oleandrose units consecutively make up the carbohydrate portion; this, in my opinion, is the most well-known instance of that otherwise unknown sugar. Since the 1980s, ivermectin (and sections of it) have been synthesized multiple times by various methods; nonetheless, unlike the vast majority of natural goods, Ivermectin Purchase  is not produced on a raw basis.

Ivermectin and COVID-19

What role does this substance play in the coronavirus story, then? Viruses cannot be affected by its ion-channel mode of action against parasites. However, it has been repeatedly demonstrated (see this study and its references) to have activity in cell assays against Dengue infection and to lower virus loads in mosquito vectors, albeit the mechanisms for these findings are still unknown. 

There have been some efficacious human studies, but as far as I can tell, there hasn't been any update, and a preliminary read indicated no viral load reduction in the infected individuals. But regardless of mechanism, ivermectin has been proposed as a potential coronavirus medication as denguevirus is also a single-strand positive-sense RNA virus.

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