COVID-19 Delta Variant: Ivermectin and I-MASK Protocol (2022)

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is a newer strain of the COVID-19 virus that appears to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. It was initially identified in India in December 2020 and was first detected in the United States in March 2021. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Delta variant is now the predominant strain in the U.S.

Delta Variant
Credit: Getty Images

 FLCCC (Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care) I-MASK+ Protocol


FLCCC Putting Patients First

The initial MATH+ protocol was released in April 2020. In early July and August, it was updated to include quercetin and a number of optional nutrients and drugs, not only for critical care but also for prophylaxis and mild disease being treated at home.

There is evidence that vitamin C and quercetin co-administration exerts a synergistic antiviral action due to overlapping antiviral and immuno-modulatory properties and the capacity of ascorbate to recycle quercetin, increasing its efficacy.

I-MASK+ Prevention & Early Outpatient Treatment Protocol for COVID-19 was designed for use as a prevention and in early outpatient treatment, for those who test positive for COVID-19. Component nutrients include vitamin D, C, melatonin, quercetin and zinc.

All the component medicines are FDA-approved (except ivermectin), inexpensive, readily available and have been used for decades with well-established safety profiles.

IMPORTANT UPDATE TO FIGHT THE DELTA VARIANT
Once again FLCCC medical team strengthened the I-MASK+ prevention & early treatment protocol to counter the new COVID-19 variant. 


The I-MASK+ protocol has been updated several times and below is their latest version (version 18: Oct 12, 2021).

PREVENTION Protocol (for Delta variant)

Should I take ivermectin as a prophylaxis? For prevention, the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group (FLCCC) I-MASK+ protocol recommends:

Anti-Virals & AntiSeptics
  • Gargle mouthwash: 2 x daily – gargle (do not swallow) antiseptic mouthwash with cetylpyridinium chloride (e.g. Scope mouthwash™, Crest mouthwashColgate mouthwash) or povidone/iodine 1 % solution as alternative (e.g. Betadine® Antiseptic Sore Throat Gargle™). 
  • lvermectin
    • Chronic Prevention: 0.2 mg/kg per dose (take with or after a meal) — twice a week for as long as disease risk is elevated in your community 
    • Post COVID-19 Exposure Prevention: 0.4 mg/kg per dose (take with or after a meal)  — one dose today, repeat after 48 hours
Immune Fortifying / Supportive Therapy
Ivermectin Alternative
To be used if ivermectin not available or added to ivermectin for optimal prevention.

Notes:
  • High risk Individuals: > 60 years with co-morbidities (hypertension, diabetes, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease), obesity, long term care facilities, etc.
  • Post COVID-19 exposure: To use if a household member is COVID-19 positive, or you have prolonged exposure to a COVID-19 positive patient without wearing a mask.
  • Precautionary Note: Ivermectin has a number of potentially serious drug-drug interactions. Please check for potential drug interaction at Ivermectin Drug Interactions - Drugs.com. The most important drug interactions occur with cyclosporin, tacrolimus, anti-retroviral drugs, and certain anti-fungal drugs. 
  • Due to the possible drug interaction between quercetin and ivermectin (may increase ivermectin levels), these drugs should not be taken simultaneously (i.e. should be staggered morning and night). 
  • Ivermectin is also lipophilic and therefore, bioavailability is maximised on a full stomach; or best to be taken with meal.
  • Vitamin D3 RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) is 800–1000 IU/day. The safe upper-dose daily limit is likely < 4000 IU/day. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of acquiring COVID-19 and from dying from the disease. Vitamin D supplementation may therefore prove to be an effective and cheap intervention to lessen the impact of this disease, particularly in vulnerable populations, i.e. the elderly and obese.
  • When Is the Best Time to Take Vitamin D? Morning or Night? It is possible that increasing vitamin D levels during the day may act, in part, as a signal that suppresses melatonin generation (source). Therefore, it's better to take vitamin D (with meal) during the day and melatonin to be taken just before bedtime.
  • It is likely that vitamin C and quercetin have synergistic prophylactic benefit. Quercetin should be used with caution in patients with hypothyroidism and TSH levels should be monitored.
  • Please consult with a qualified doctor and only use human ivermectin. Ivermectin for animals contain excipients (binding and storage compounds such as polyethylene glycol (PEG)) that are known to cause liver failure in high doses. 
Related: 

EARLY TREATMENT PROTOCOL

For early outpatient protocol (COVID-19 positive), the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group, FLCCC I-MASK+ protocol recommends:

1. First line agents (use any or all medicines; listed in order of priority/importance)

Anti-Virals
  • Ivermectin: 0.4–0.6 mg/kg per dose (take with or after meals) — one dose daily, take for 5 days or until recovered. (Find a Doctor). Use upper dose range if:  1) in regions with more aggressive variants; 2) treatment started on or after day 5 of symptoms or in pulmonary phase; or 3) multiple comorbidities/risk factors.
  • and/or Nitazoxanide: 500 mg 2 x daily for 5 days after meals. Combine with ivermectin (preferred) or substitute if ivermectin is not available. (Nitazoxanide is often unavailable or high-priced in the USA)
Anti-Septic Anti-virals
  • Antiviral mouthwash: Gargle 3 x daily (do not swallow; must contain chlorhexidine,  povidone-iodine, or cetylpyridinium chloride). (e.g. Scope mouthwash™, Crest mouthwashColgate mouthwashBetadine® Antiseptic Sore Throat Gargle)
  • Iodine Nasal Spray: Use 1 % povidone iodine commercial product as per instructions 2–3 x daily. If 1 %-product not available, must first dilute the more widely available 10 %-solution and apply 4–5 drops to each nose every 4 hours. (No more than 5 days in pregnancy.)
Anti-Coagulants + Immune Fortifying
  • Aspirin: 325 mg/day unless contraindicated. (Amazon)
  • Vitamin D3: 5,000 IU daily. Preferred forms if available: Calcitriol (Rocaltrol) 0.5 mcg on day 1, then 0.25 mcg daily for 7 days – or Calcifediol 0.5 mg on day 1, then 0.2 mg on days  3 + 7, then 0.2 mg weekly until recovered.
  • Melatonin: 10 mg before bedtime (causes drowsiness). (Amazon)
Synergistic Therapies
  • Vitamin C: 500 - 1,000 mg BID (twice daily) (Amazon) (iHerb)
  • Quercetin: 250 mg twice a day. (Amazon) (iHerb)
  • Zinc: 100 mg/day. Zinc lozenges are preferred. (Amazon) (iHerb)
Nutritional Therapeutics (New)
  • Curcumin (turmeric) 500mg 2 x daily for 14 days (Ref) (Amazon)
  • Nigella Sativa 80mg/kg daily for 14 days (Amazon)
  • Honey 1gram/kg daily for 14 days
Pulse Oximeter

FLCCC also recommend monitoring your oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter and to go to the hospital if you get below 94%. (Amazon)

Other Alternatives: 
* Not available on Amazon

2. Second line agents (listed in order of priority /importance)

Add to first line therapies above if: 
1) ≥5 days of symptoms; 
2) Poor response to therapies above; 
3) Significant comorbidities

Dual anti-androgen Therapy
  1. Spironolactone 100 mg 2 x daily for ten days
  2. Dutasteride 2 mg on day 1, followed by 1 mg daily for 10 days. If dutasteride is not available, use finasteride 10 mg daily for 10 days.
Fluvoxamine

Fluvoxamine: 50 mg twice daily for 10 days. 
Consider fluoxetine (Prozac) 30mg daily for 10 days as an alternative (it is often better tolerated).
Avoid if patient is already on an SSRI.

Note: Combining fluvoxamine and melatonin may significantly increase the blood levels and effects of melatonin (Drugs.com). You can check for other potential drug interactions with fluvoxamine at Fluvoxamine Drug Interactions - Drugs.com.

Monoclonal antibody therapy

Casirivimab/imdevimab: 600 mg each in a single subcutaneous injection for patients with one or more risk factors as follows: Age > 65y; obesity; pregnancy; chronic lung, heart, or kidney disease; diabetes; immunosuppressed; developmental disability; chronic tracheostomy; or tube feeding.

3. Third line agent 

To consider if after day 7–10 from first symptoms and patient has either: abnormal chest x-ray, shortness of breath, or oxygen saturations of 88–94%. If oxygen saturation is lower than 88%, emergency room evaluation should be sought.

Prednisone or Methylprednisolone: 1mg/kg daily for 5 days followed by slow taper or escalation according to patient response. 


Alternatives: 
* Not available on Amazon

Behavioral Prevention:
  • Face Masks - Must wear cloth, surgical, or N95 mask (without valve) in all indoor spaces with non-household persons. Must wear a N95 mask (without valve) during prolonged exposure to non-household persons in any confined, poorly ventilated area.
  • Social Distancing - Until the end of the COVID-19 crisis, we recommend keeping a minimum distance of approx. 2 m / 6 feet in public from people who are not from your own household.
  • Wash Hands - We recommend, after a stay during and after outings from home (shopping, sub - way etc.), a thorough hand cleaning (20–30 sec. with soap), or also to use a hand disinfectant in between.
The medical evidence to support each drug and nutrient can be found under “Medical Evidence” on the FLCCC’s website.

For an up-to-date overview of all published studies on ivermectin in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 we recommend visiting c19ivermectin.com; in addition, a meta-analysis of all studies can be found at ivmeta.com (constantly updated). For adoption and regulatory status of ivermectin globally, check out "Countries using Ivermectin".

For post-covid or long covid syndrome, check out FLCCC I-Recover Post-COVID Protocol. For a simplified version of the I-MASK+ protocol, the FLCCC has also developed the I-MASS protocol.

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