3 Reasons Not to Use Ivermectin for COVID-19

September 3, 2021

Clinical Contributors to this Story

Bindu Balani, M.D. contributes to topics such as Infectious disease, .

Using ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug, to treat or prevent COVID-19 is up there with swallowing bleach and blow drying your face, it does not work and can cause serious harm.

Infectious disease expert, Bindu Balani, M.D., shares the ins and outs of ivermectin and why it should not be used for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.

What is ivermectin? 

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that is often used to treat or prevent parasites in animals and humans.

Across the U.S. there are reports of people using ivermectin prescribed for horses to try and prevent or treat COVID-19.

Is ivermectin approved for use in humans?

Ivermectin can be prescribed to humans in tablet form to treat conditions caused by parasitic worms, as well as in a topical form to treat external parasites like lice.

Reports from the FDA are showing people ingesting ivermectin doses in a paste form that is designated for horses, as well as doctors even prescribing the medication for COVID-19.

In a typical pre-pandemic setting, there are about 3,600 prescriptions filled for ivermectin in a year. From early July and August, the CDC reported over 88,000 prescriptions dispensed – that is a 2,344% increase.

“The stark increase in prescriptions for ivermectin is not a coincidence – this is an ‘off-label’ use of the drug. While ivermectin is approved for use in parasitic conditions, there has been no evidence or approval for use against COVID-19,” shares Dr. Balani.

Can ivermectin be used to treat COVID-19? 

No, ivermectin is not approved or authorized by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

Some studies have been conducted to evaluate the drug’s efficacy against COVID-19, however the data has been inconsistent, inconclusive and too small to be considered high quality. There is no reliable evidence that ivermectin should be used for COVID-19.

What happens if you take ivermectin? 

The side effects of ivermectin overdose can include:

  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Confusion, hallucinations, seizures, coma and death

To sum up, here are three reasons why you should not use ivermectin to try to prevent COVID-19:

  • Ivermectin is not proven to be effective for COVID-19.
  • Using ivermectin not as it was intended can cause a variety of health risks, even death.
  • You are not a horse or a cow and a large dose of ivermectin is highly toxic.

The COVID-19 vaccines are FDA approved and proven to be effective against COVID. 

“Instead of listening to conspiracies online, please follow the data. The COVID-19 vaccines have all been thoroughly tested and are proven to be effective. Getting vaccinated can help protect you against this deadly virus,” concludes Dr. Balani.

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The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.