NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) — Brent Hendrickson still has fatigue and intermittent headaches after recovering from COVID-19. 

“I was not vaccinated. I made a personal choice to wait and see a little more research on it. Then I got it and we move forward from there,” said Hendrickson.

After testing positive, he called his doctor to see what options he had. He was already planning to take a vitamin regimen should he get the virus, so he started that, but his doctor also suggested he participate in the “ACTIV-6” clinical trial.

The NIH-funded study is being conducted around the country with the goal of compiling data on three medications to see if they can help treat COVID-19 symptoms. 

Those drugs include the inhaled steroid Fluticasone, the anti-depressant Fluvoxamine, or a safe dose of Ivermectin. 

“So can these medicines shorten the duration of illness?” asks Dr. Aaron Milstone.

Dr. Milstone is the Medical Director for Clinical Trials Center of Middle Tennessee. It’s one of the centers doing the study.

He shares that the primary outcomes the study is hoping to learn are how many people are hospitalized based on which arm of the study they’re in, the number of people who die secondary to COVID, and the number of days that they’re symptomatic with COVID.

Dr. Milstone said, “We don’t have a lot of outpatient medication for COVID. Certainly people take vitamins, certainly they’re interested in drugs like ivermectin, they’re interested in drugs like fluticasone, but we have to work together to really find a definitive answer. Do these drugs work? And do they work in large populations of patients to know whether this is the right approach.” 

To be able to participate, patients have to be above 30, have not been hospitalized but tested positive for COVID-19, and have to have symptoms within the last 7 days. Visits are remote and the medication is sent directly to participants homes. 

Though he doesn’t know whether he got a placebo or a drug, Hendrickson said he chose Ivermectin. 

“We’re all still learning as to how to treat this, how to combat this, how do we move forward. Then when he said these are the trials we have, would you be open to this? I said lets do it?” said Hendrickson. He continued, “We weren’t as familiar with the other two drugs as we were with the little bit of research, with what we had heard about, and felt more comfortable with Ivermectin.”

Hendrickson said he started feeling a change in how he felt after four days of starting the medication. 

Dr. Milstone added that this trial is a safe way to try and take Ivermectin as they dose it by people’s body weight. “As you know a lot of folks are taking Ivermectin based on dosing for animals and non-humans so the problem with that is that its relatively easy to take too much ivermectin and have a lot of side effects. So this is a much safer way for somebody interested in ivermectin to get the medication.”  

Hendrickson said he’s glad he participated in the trial and would encourage others to as well. 

“Yes, I didn’t get the vaccine, I got COVID, I understand what that means. But I also understand that after getting it, I can be part of the solution in looking at the statistics for those who made the personal choice not to get it,” he said. 

This clinical trial plans to enroll 15,000 people across the United States. 

If you recently tested positive and want to learn more about the study, you can go to activ6study.org or toll free 1-833-385-1880.

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