What is Ivermectin? Dewormer advocated by some anti-vaxxers explained

Scientists
Photo credit Getty Images | Kena Betancur/Stringer

In the past few weeks, anyone following news about the fight against COVID-19 has learned the name “Ivermectin,” a drug that some people are using to treat the coronavirus with extremely mixed results.

Why is the drug’s use so controversial? Proponents say that critics are downplaying its effectiveness because they want to force vaccinations on people. Critics say the treatment is unproven and nowhere near being the “miracle drug” that the anti-vaccination crowd is hoping it will be.

But what is Ivermectin?

Developed to parasite-based infections like river blindness or intestinal problems rooted in roundworm infestation, the drug won its creators the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine six years ago after it “revolutionized therapy for patients suffering from devastating parasitic diseases.”