The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned Americans against using an equine wormer to treat COVID-19 after prescriptions of the drug skyrocketed.
Ivermectin is an antiparasitic drug commonly used in horses and cows to control roundworms and other insects.
In specific cases, it is also used in humans as a remedy for worms, but in significantly smaller doses than in livestock.
Doctors say it is unable to treat viruses like COVID-19.
However, it has been popularly used by many to treat the virus and was prescribed 88,000 times in one week, according to the CDC, a 24-fold increase over a typical pre-pandemic week.
Prescriptions for ivermectin, a wormer, have increased 24-fold from pre-pandemic levels. The drug has been touted by some conservative figures as a treatment for COVID-19.
Ivermectin can be used in humans, but in much smaller doses than in animals. The drug is a popular dewormer for horses, although some are buying veterinary versions of the drug for use in treating COVID-19
“Clinical trials and observational studies investigating the use of ivermectin to prevent and treat COVID-19 in humans have provided insufficient evidence for the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel to recommend its use,” the CDC wrote in a statement. pronunciation on Thursday.
“Data from sufficiently large, well-designed and well-conducted clinical trials are needed to provide more specific, evidence-based guidance on the role of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19.”
Warnings from the CDC, the US Food and Drug Administration and other officials have not stopped Americans from using ivermectin inappropriately.
The drug gained popularity in some circles following untruths about ivermectin’s alleged ability to treat the spread of COVID-19 on social media over time. previous studies misinterpreted in the effectiveness of the drug.
Some prominent figures in the media have also pushed the drug.
Between March and this month, Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham promoted the drug’s use as an alternative COVID-19 treatment.
In June, Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, had his YouTube account suspended for posting a video advising viewers to use ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as treatments for the virus.
Last week, Mississippi officials reported that 70 percent of recent poison control calls in the state resulted from abuse of the dewormer.
Texas has also reported a sharp spike in poison calls compared to last year.
In August 2020, Texas reported two poison control reports related to ivermectin, reported WFAA.
In August, the state received 55 calls, a 27-fold increase.
In addition, Texas Poison Control recorded 23 cases of ivermectin poisoning from January to August 2020, compared to 150 this year – a 552 percent increase.
These numbers are probably an undercount.
‘America’s Frontline Doctors’ have become strong advocates of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. The group made headlines last year after giving a Supreme Court press conference denouncing masks and promoting the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a Covid treatment
“It’s sometimes a little hard for us at the Poison Center to really understand, you know why people are using things outside of their intended use,” Liz Petty of the North Texas Poison Center told WFAA.
“It could certainly get out of hand if the misinformation continues to circulate publicly.”
People obtain the drug through a prescription or resort to buying versions of the drug made for animals at livestock stores.
One way people get prescriptions is through: SpeakWithAnMD.com, a website operated in part by America’s Frontline Doctors.
The group went viral early last year in the pandemic after holding a Supreme Court press conference with unscientific claims about masks not working and that antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine could cure Covid.
The group now operates the website, which provides online telehealth services, and prescribes the drug to patients, according to an NBC report.
An Arkansas doctor is also under investigation for prescribing the drug to thousands of people COVID-19 prison patients.
Some who cannot get a prescription resort to using versions of the drugs made for animals.
However, dosages for animals are much larger than for humans, potentially causing ivermectin users to overdose on the drug.