MONDAY, Aug 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Taking a drug for horses and cattle to prevent or treat COVID-19 is dangerous and could be fatal, warns the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The agency has received several reports of people being hospitalized after “self-medication with ivermectin for horses,” the agency said in a consumer update.
Ivermectin, which is not an antiviral drug, is commonly used to treat or prevent parasites in animals, reported NBC News.
“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, all of you. Stop that, ”the FDA tweeted on Saturday.
No form of ivermectin is approved for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19, the agency stressed. It said it was forced to issue a “much misinformation” warning about the drug, the update said.
“You may have heard that it is okay to take large doses of ivermectin. That is wrong,” said the FDA.
The agency clarified that the FDA-approved ivermectin tablets for treating people with certain diseases caused by parasitic worms, as well as topical formulations used for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea, are different from the drugs used in animals differentiate. Ivermectin tablets and topical formulations for humans have “very specific doses,” which are significantly lower than the doses intended for animals, the agency said.
Additionally, “many inactive ingredients found in animal products are not being evaluated for use in humans,” warned the FDA. “In some cases we do not know how these inactive ingredients affect the absorption of ivermectin in the human body.”
“These veterinary drugs are often highly concentrated because they are used on large animals like horses and cows that can weigh much more than a human,” added the FDA. “Such high doses can be highly toxic to humans.”
The FDA said ivermectin overdoses can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, allergic reactions, dizziness, imbalance, seizures, coma, and even death, NBC News reported.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn more about COVID treatments.
SOURCE: NBC News