FLCCC I-CARE COVID Treatment Protocol for Outpatients (December 2023)

Early treatment is critical and the most important factor in managing this disease. COVID-19 is a clinical diagnosis; a confirmed antigen or PCR test is not required. Treatment should be initiated immediately after the onset of flu-like symptoms. The multiple therapies and drugs in this protocol have different mechanisms of action and work synergistically during various phases of the disease.

About I-CARE Protocol

The information in this document is our recommended approach to COVID-19 based on the best (and most recent) literature. It is provided as guidance to healthcare providers worldwide on the early treatment of COVID-19. Patients should always consult with their provider before starting any medical treatment.

New medications may be added and/or changes made to doses of existing medications as further evidence emerges. Please be sure you are using the latest version of this protocol.

Warning (anesthesia and surgery):

Please notify your anesthesia team if you are using the following medications and/or nutraceuticals as they can increase the risk of Serotonin Syndrome — a life-threatening condition — when opioids are administered:

  • Methylene blue
  • Curcumin
  • Nigella Sativa
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Note that there are two I-Care Protocols; the I-Care Covid protocol (this article) to treat Covid and another protocol, I-Care Flu protocol; to treat influenza and RSV infections.

The I-Care protocol has been updated and below is their latest version (December 1, 2023). Lactoferrin and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) were just added with the December 1, 2023 update.

First Line Therapies

(In order of priority; not all required.)

  • Ivermectin: 0.4 to 0.6 mg/kg – one dose daily for at least 5 days or until symptoms resolve. If symptoms persist longer than 5 days, consult a healthcare provider. See Table 1 (below) for help with calculating correct dose. Due to a possible interaction between quercetin and ivermectin, these drugs should be staggered throughout the day (see Table 2 below). For COVID treatment, ivermectin is best taken with a meal or just following a meal, for greater absorption.
  • Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ): 200 mg twice a day for 5 to 10 days. Best taken with zinc. HCQ may be taken in place of, or together with, ivermectin. While ivermectin should be avoided in pregnancy, the FDA considers HCQ safe in pregnancy. Given the pathway used by the Omicron variant to gain cell entry, HCQ may be the preferred drug for this variant.
  • Mouthwash: 3 times a day. Gargle three times a day (do not swallow) with an antiseptic-antimicrobial mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride (e.g., Scope™, Act™, Crest™), a combination of eucalyptus, menthol, and thymol (Listerine™), or 1% povidone-iodine.
  • Nasal spray with 1% povidone-iodine: 2-3 times a day. Do not use for more than 5 days in pregnancy. If 1% product is not available, dilute the more widely available 10% solution (see box) and apply 4-5 drops to each nostril every 4 hours.
    • Pour 1 ½ tablespoons (25 ml) of 10% povidone-iodine solution into a 250 ml nasal irrigation bottle.
    • Fill bottle to top with distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water.
    • To use: tilt head back, apply 4-5 drops to each nostril. Keep head tilted for a few minutes, then let drain.
  • Quercetin (or a mixed flavonoid supplement): 250-500 mg twice a day. Due to a possible interaction between quercetin and ivermectin, these drugs should not be taken simultaneously (i.e., should be staggered at different times of day.) As supplemental quercetin has poor solubility and low oral absorption, lecithin-based and nanoparticle formulations are preferred.
  • Nigella sativa: If using seeds, take 80 mg/kg once a day (or 400 to 500 mg of encapsulated oil twice a day).
  • Honey: 1 g/kg one to two times a day.
  • Melatonin: 5-10 mg before bedtime (causes drowsiness). Slow- or extended-release formulations preferred.
  • Curcumin (turmeric): 500 mg twice a day. Curcumin has low solubility in water and is poorly absorbed by the body; consequently, it is traditionally taken with full fat milk and black pepper, which enhance its absorption.
  • Zinc: 75-100 mg daily. Take with HCQ. Zinc supplements come in various forms (e.g., zinc sulfate, zinc citrate and zinc gluconate).
  • Aspirin: 325 mg daily (unless contraindicated).
  • Kefir and/or Bifidobacterium Probiotics. Depending on the brand, these products can be very high in sugar, which promotes inflammation. Look for brands without added sugar or fruit jellies and choose products with more than one strain of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. Try to choose probiotics that are also gluten-free, casein-free and soy-free.
  • Vitamin C: 500-1000 mg twice a day.
  • Home pulse oximeter. Monitoring of oxygen saturation is recommended in symptomatic patients, due to asymptomatic hypoxia. Take multiple readings over the course of the day and regard any downward trend as ominous. Baseline or ambulatory desaturation under 94% should prompt consultation with primary or telehealth provider, or evaluation in an emergency room. (See box for further guidance.)
    • Only accept values associated with a strong pulse signal
    • Observe readings for 30–60 seconds to identify the most common value
    • Warm up extremities prior to taking a measurement
    • Use the middle or ring finger
    • Remove nail polish from the finger on which measurements are made

Treatment of EG.5/BA.4/BA.5/BQ.1.1/XBB1 and Current Circulating Omicron variants

Limited data are available on the clinical implications of the current circulating Omicron ‘subvariants’, however these variants have demonstrated ‘neutralization escape’, meaning they have evolved to escape neutralizing antibodies from previous infections or from mRNA injection. Indeed, vaccination appears to be a risk factor for symptomatic disease.

A subvariant of the omicron lineage, Eris, otherwise known as EG.5, was detected as early as February 2023. EG.5 certainly seems to be highly contagious, but from what we’re seeing it is less virulent. In other words, it’s a lot like the Omicron variants we’ve seen recently — lots of cases, but not a lot of extreme illness or hospitalization.

If you’ve been exposed to the virus before, you likely have some natural ability to fight it off. We are finding that patients who have not been previously exposed are the ones hit hardest right now.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to protect yourself. The good news is that the advice we’ve been sharing from the FLCCC all along still stands — do what you can to prevent getting ill and if you do get it, treat immediately. Early treatment is critical.

The newer variants seem to differ from previous variants due to the early onset of bacterial pneumonia. While the optimal treatment approach to the symptomatic patient is unclear, it is best to risk-stratify symptomatic patients. Risk factors for hospitalization and death include advanced age (over 60), comorbidities (especially obesity and metabolic syndrome, poor ambulatory status, delayed treatment, high D-dimer), recently vaccinated, and severe symptoms.

High-risk patients should consider:

  • The combination of both HCQ and ivermectin
  • Nattokinase 2000-4000 FU/day for 15 days OR Apixaban 5 mg daily for 15 days OR Rivaroxaban 10 mg daily for 15 days. The escalated use of anticoagulants should only be considered in patients with a low risk of bleeding. Furthermore, the risk of serious bleeding increases as the number of anticoagulant drugs is increased.
  • Spironolactone: 200 mg once daily for 7 days (avoid in patients with impaired renal function)

If symptoms have not markedly improved by day 3 of treatment, one of the following antibiotics should be started. NOTE: providers should prescribe an antibiotic at the first visit.

  • Oral antibiotic:

      • Doxycycline 100 mg twice daily for 5 days (Doxycycline may act synergistically with ivermectin and might be the antibiotic of first choice.); OR
      • Azithromycin (Z-pack) 500 mg day 1, then 250 mg daily for 4 days; OR
      • Amoxicillin/Clavulanate (Augmentin) 500 mg/125 mg tablet twice daily for 7 days.

Hypoxia/shortness of breath: If the patients develop hypoxia or shortness of breath Prednisolone 60 mg daily for 5 days should be prescribed.

Related: NIH COVID-19 Autopsy Consortium Finds Underrecognized Secondary Bacteria Lung Infections

Second Line Therapies

(In order of priority/importance.)

Add to first line therapies above if: 1) more than 5 days of symptoms; 2) poor response to first line agents; 3) significant comorbidities).

Nitazoxanide (NTZ): 500 mg twice a day for 5 days.
Vitamin D3: For patients with acute COVID-19 infection, calcifediol as dosed in table below is suggested.

Lactoferrin: 100-400 mg daily 

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl): 25-50 mg every 6 hours

B complex vitamins.
Fluvoxamine: 25-50 mg twice a day for 1 week.
NOTE: Due to serious risks of acute anxiety that may progress to mania or suicidal/violent behavior, this drug should not be prescribed for COVID for longer than two weeks.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC): 600-1200 mg orally twice a day.

Omega-3 fatty acids: 4 g daily.
Vascepa (Ethyl eicosapentaenoic acid); Lovaza (EPA/DHA); or alternative DHA/EPA. Vascepa and Lovaza tablets must be swallowed and cannot be crushed, dissolved, or chewed.

About Ivermectin

Ivermectin is a well known, FDA-approved drug that has been used successfully around the world for more than four decades. One of the safest drugs known, it is on the WHO’s list of essential medicines, has been given over 3.7 billion times, and won the Nobel Prize for its global and historic impacts in eradicating endemic parasitic infections in many parts of the world.

To review the totality of supporting evidence for ivermectin in COVID-19, visit our Ivermectin information page.

Ivermectin is a remarkably safe drug with minimal adverse reactions (almost all minor), however its safety in pregnancy has not been definitively established. Talk to your doctor about use in pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester.

Potential drug-drug interactions should be reviewed before prescribing ivermectin.

Ivermectin has been demonstrated to be highly effective against the Omicron variant at a dose of 0.3 to 0.4 mg/kg, when taken early.

Higher doses (0.6 mg/kg) may be required: in regions with more aggressive variants; if treatment starts on or after 5 days of symptoms; in patients in advanced stage of the disease or who have extensive risk factors (i.e., older age, obesity, diabetes, etc.)

Related: Ivermectin feeds Bifidobacteria to boost immunity (Though the journal has retracted this article by Dr. Sabine Hazan, we've included it here to assist you in your own research)

Table 1. How to calculate ivermectin dose

Note that ivermectin is available in different strengths (e.g., 3, 6 or 12 mg) and administration forms (tablets, capsules, drops, etc.). Note that tablets can be halved for more accurate dosing, while capsules cannot.

ivermectin dosage by weight

Table 2. Proposed medication schedule for first line treatments

Table 3. A Single-Dose Regimen of Calcifediol to Rapidly Raise Serum 25(OH)D above 50 ng/mL

Ordinary Vitamin D3 Does not work in Acute Illness

According to this webinar (below) by Dr Pierre Kory and Dr. Keith Berkowitz:

Video time from 11:30 - 12:30: 

Vitamin D3 (ordinary form) does not work in acute illness. It doesn't become active for at least a week... Vitamin D3 is for prevention and you should continue to take it if your levels are below 50 ng/ml...

There is only one form of vitamin D that will have an acute impact and that is calcifediol (vitamin D3 analog).

d.velop Vitamin D Supplements 2400 IU, 20 mcg – High Potency Vitamin D3

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Calcifediol, the form of vitamin D in d.velop, doesn’t need to be processed by the liver, it can be absorbed right into the bloodstream and throughout your body. That's why calcifediol is 3x more effective for raising vitamin D levels when compared to regular vitamin D on an equal microgram (mcg) basis.

COVID-19 is a highly dynamic topic. Please refer to the latest FLCCC I-CARE protocol (constantly updated).

FLCCC protocols

To find a list of physicians who follow the protocols and provide in-office and telehealth services: List of Doctors that will prescribe I-Care Protocol.

To find a list of pharmacist: List of Pharmacies that will fill Ivermectin.

The Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance has also developed other protocols aimed at prevention and post-vaccine recovery.

Disclaimer: This protocol is solely for educational purposes regarding potentially beneficial therapies for COVID-19. Never disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read on our website and releases. This protocol is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment with regard to any patient. Treatment for an individual patient should rely on the judgement of a physician or other qualified health provider. Always seek their advice with any questions you may have regarding your health or medical condition. Please note FLCCC full disclaimer at: www.flccc.net/disclaimer

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  • IVERMECTIN: The Nobel-prize-winning medicine demonized as "horse paste" by the FDA.
  • HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE: An antiviral that has been used for 50 years for the treatment of various diseases was suddenly banned when Trump endorsed it.
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  • BUDESONIDE: Restricted due to supply chain shortages from Big Pharma's outsourcing.
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  1. What are the possible interactions of quercetin and ivermectin? I have done a brief search and can’t find anything. Thank you.


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