If you have seen stories suggesting the use of ivermectin, a so-called “miracle cure” medication, for COVID-19—beware.
While the drug can be prescribed in humans to treat various parasites, scabies or highly resistant cases of lice, ivermectin is most commonly used in livestock as an anti-parasitic. There are no proven benefits for its use in treating COVID-19.
Veterinarians often prescribe ivermectin as a de-wormer for livestock, most commonly horses. The drug is used so frequently to treat animals that you can generally find it sold over-the-counter in feed and pet stores. It is important to note that the dosages intended for use in animals, particularly horses, are much larger than those used in humans. Therefore, a human taking even a single dose of ivermectin which is intended for use in animals could experience dangerous consequences.
Some risks associated with high doses of ivermectin include:
- Allergic reactions.
- Serious skin reactions including severe rashes.
- Cardiovascular issues, including low blood pressure.
- Visual disturbances.
Vaccines remain the safest and most effective preventative measure against COVID-19. They are proven to prevent severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalization and death.
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