Ivermectin COVID-19: demand for dewormers increases
PHOENIX – Prescriptions for the antiparasitic drug ivermectin have skyrocketed in recent spikes in COVID-19 cases, despite federal warnings that the drug sometimes used to deworm horses should not be used against COVID-19.
Although ivermectin is approved for human use for certain conditions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have informed against its use for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 and point out that the drug is not approved for this purpose.
Nonetheless, prescriptions in the United States have gone from a pre-pandemic baseline of 3,600 per week to 88,000 per week in mid-August, according to the CDC. Some people even take some form of medicine intended for large animals.
You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, all of you. Stop that. https://t.co/TWb75xYEY4
– US FDA (@US_FDA) August 21, 2021
The Western Ranchman, a pet food store in northern Phoenix, sold its formulation of ivermectin for livestock in early September, owner Amy Jonson said. The store has put some back into stock “for who knows how long,” she said, although suppliers only send half of what they normally do.
“We have already sold a few boxes (in just a few days),” she said.
Ivermectin has earned its creators, William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura, a Nobel prize in 2015. In tablet form, it is used to treat infections in humans caused by parasitic worms, and it can be used topically to treat head lice. The tablets, along with injectable ivermectin in liquid or paste form, are approved in the United States to prevent or kill parasites in animals.
Use of the COVID-19 drug took off last year after Monash University in Australia published preliminary results that showed the drug killed the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in cell culture.
Social media posts touting the drug’s purported benefits have circulated widely, including an Instagram post by comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan revealing his use of ivermectin and many other drugs after his diagnosis of COVID-19.
Amid the debate, calls to poison control centers linked to ivermectin exposure have tripled this year, according to an Aug. 26 report. bulletin of the CDC. One person drank a formulation intended for use in cattle and was hospitalized for nine days after suffering from confusion, drowsiness, hallucinations and tremors.
The Banner Poison and Drug Information Center in Phoenix and the Arizona Poison Control System in Tucson have reported an increase in calls reporting side effects to ivermectin or seeking information about the drug. At least one appellant had to be hospitalized.
Dr Daniel Brooks, medical director of the Banner Poison Control Center, said ivermectin continues to be studied in very specific settings – with patients in intensive care or on respirators. But he stressed that there is still no evidence that it is effective against COVID-19, which has killed more than 650,000 people in the United States
“There are studies that have come out that have been poorly done and reassessed. They showed no statistically significant increase in survival or whatever, ”Brooks said.
He added that it is easier for preliminary or unproven research to circulate these days, as some studies are published online for free.
“Ten years ago, we were talking about things having to be peer reviewed in order to come out in the literature and be ready for general consumption,” he said. “And those kind of fringes, fringe people took advantage of those criteria.”
Once someone goes down the rabbit hole online and starts digging up studies on ivermectin not written by scientists, Brooks said, search engines can automatically display similar information.
Dr Fred Wagshul, pulmonologist in Centerville, Ohio, is one of those advocating the use of ivermectin against COVID-19. Wagshul is a founding member of the COVID-10 Primary Critical Care Alliance or FLCCC, which describes itself as a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing “highly effective treatment protocols” to fight the disease.
In August, Wagshul prescribed ivermectin to Jeffrey Smith, a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit at West Chester Hospital in Ohio whom Wagshul had not personally treated. According to the court documentsSmith’s wife Julie sought treatment after the hospital said it had exhausted all other options.
When West Chester Hospital officials refused to administer the drug, Julie Smith sued and a judge ordered the hospital to administer the drug for two weeks. This order has since been reversed.
Julie Smith’s attorney, Ralph Lorigo, said in an interview that Smith’s ventilator performed 80-100% of his breathing before his temporary ivermectin treatment and that it dropped to 50% on September 3. Julie Smith is trying to get her husband. transferred to a hospital in Texas where a doctor in the FLCCC Alliance would treat him, Lorigo said.
In a September 9 webinar, Wagshul claimed that ivermectin “kills all SARS viruses and variants of SARS viruses … but the FDA, NIH and CDC refuse to ignore it.”
But Brooks said the medical community knows what works – vaccines, masks, social distancing and staying home when you’re feeling sick.
“This is a warning that we must tell,” he said. “Ivermectin: the short story is, don’t use it. “