Ivermectin Won't Treat Covid-19, But Demand Is High Anyway

Public health warnings against the use of the pest control ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19, especially in high doses intended for...

Public health warnings against the use of the pest control ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19, especially in high doses intended for livestock, appear to have made little progress in stemming its popularity in parts of the United States.

Hospitals and poison control centers across the United States are treating an increasing number of patients taking the drug.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that almost 90,000 prescriptions for ivermectin were written per week in mid-August, against a pre-pandemic weekly average of 3,600. The shelves of veterinary supply stores were emptied.

The CDC reported that a person had an “altered mental state” after purchasing ivermectin on the Internet and taking five pills a day for five days. Another person drank an ivermectin formula intended for cattle and was hospitalized for nine days with tremors and hallucinations.

Warnings are not enough. Ivermectin has been promoted by celebrities as the podcasting giant Joe Rogan, who listed it this week among the treatments he received after contracting the virus. Alex jones, the conspiracy theorist who was banned from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, pulled out a box of ivermectin pills during one of his trademark rants and popped two pills live on the show he gets still to be broadcast.

Ivermectin was introduced as a veterinary drug in the late 1970s and was subsequently approved for use in humans infected with parasites. Since 1987, its American manufacturer, Merck & Co., donated billions of doses that have saved hundreds of millions of people river blindness in Africa and other parasitic diseases. Two scientists shared a Nobel Prize in 2015 for their work in developing the drug. But in the United States, it has limited human applications, such as treating lice and rosacea, and has been used primarily to deworm horses, cows, and pets – until now.

At Twitter Last month, the Food and Drug Administration warned that the drug was not approved for use against Covid and that taking large doses could cause serious harm. “You are not a horse,” reads his tweet. “You are not a cow. Seriously, all of you. Stop that.”

In a declaration Alarmed health experts from the American Medical Association, American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists on Wednesday called for “an immediate end to prescribing, dispensing and use of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 outside of a clinical trial.

Although it has not been shown to be effective in treating Covid, people are still clamoring for the drug, exchanging advice in Facebook groups and on Reddit. Some doctors have compared the phenomenon with the surge of interest in hydroxychloroquine last year, although ivermectin has suffered more clinical tests.

One of the largest trials, called the Test Set, was interrupted last month because it turned out that the drug was no better than a placebo at preventing hospitalization for Covid. In July, a research paper stating that the drug was reducing Covid deaths was withdrawn after questions arose over plagiarism and data manipulation.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Ivermectin Won't Treat Covid-19, But Demand Is High Anyway
Ivermectin Won't Treat Covid-19, But Demand Is High Anyway
Newsrust - US Top News
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