Washington health leaders advise against Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment

The drug, which is commonly used to treat parasite-infested livestock, will not help you fight COVID-19.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Public health officials from Washington state have observed a sharp increase in prescriptions for Ivermectin—A drug used to treat humans and animals with parasitic worms and skin conditions. This coincides with an influx of misinformation attributing ivermectin to the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

According to a press release issued by the Washington Department of Health (DOH), their research shows that ivermectin is ineffective against treating COVID-19 and its side effects. In fact, the side effects of ivermectin can be seriously dangerous for some people.

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Those side effects include seizures, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, stomach pain, facial or limb swelling, hepatitis, and sudden drops in blood pressure. Health officials say that the drug may be toxic to some humans as it’s intended to be used by large animals like horses.

In July 2021, the number of calls to poison control centers related to human exposure to ivermectin increased by five times the normal rate. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received numerous reports of people being hospitalized for medicating themselves with ivermectin intended for horses.

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Despite this drug being ineffective to combat the coronavirus, misinformed people across the United States are still requesting it.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that more than 88,000 prescriptions were reported nationwide for the second week of August. That is 24 times greater than the number of prescriptions written before the pandemic and more than double the state’s previous peak in early January 2021.

Washington DOH officials say that the safest and most effective way to prevent yourself from severe COVID-19 sickness or death is vaccination. To find a coronavirus vaccination clinic near you, click here.

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