Ivermectin is a man-made antiparasitic drug used to treat parasites and worms in horses, sheep, and cattle. It is also used to help control grubs, which are the larvae of black flies, fleas, and other insects that affect poultry. The drug ivermectin, a broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent, is already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the human treatment of onchocerciasis and intestinal strongyloidiasis syndromes, both caused by parasitic worms.
Ivermectin is prescribed in very small doses. Obtaining Ivermectin without a prescription is risky. Individuals who purchase the drug from a feed store or farm supply store will receive a version of it designed for horses, not humans.
However, more and more people appear convinced that Ivermectin can treat COVID-19. To date, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), as well as other health experts, has determined that this drug is ineffective in treating COVID-19. Furthermore, it has been linked to adverse side effects in several cases.
“The larger of the two concerns that we have as pharmacists — if we had to pick between the two — would be the use of a product that a patient would purchase in a tractor supply store that’s intended for animal use,” explained John Vinson, the CEO of the Arkansas Pharmacist Association.
Unfortunately, more and more people end up calling poison control centers after attempting to self-medicate at home with Ivermectin. This comes after organizations such as the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance began promoting Ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment, despite there being no scientific evidence to support this claim.
Experts have debated the ethics of pushing Ivermectin as neglected disease treatment. If you’re considering taking something from nature that is not approved by the FDA, the question is whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Some strategies used in pushing Ivermectin are to make it seem like science and government are always conspiring against people who take natural treatments. Moreover, it appears that prescriptions have become easier to obtain for those who want to use the drug against COVID-19, especially with the help of telehealth.