Medical community warns against using livestock drug ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — A common drug used to treat parasites in large farm animals is now hospitalizing people who take the drug, believing it can cure COVID-19.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration brought attention to the drug, ivermectin, in a tweet on Monday that linked to a post on the drug: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

The drug is dangerous to humans, said Dr. Richard Zane, UCHealth Chief Innovation Officer and professor and chair of emergency medicine at University of Colorado School of Medicine.

“Let me be clear: it’s unethical and immoral to recommend this medicine for COVID,” Zane said. “There is 0% evidence it works in any way shape or form. Anything you hear from anyone about ivermectin is designed to mislead you and hurt you, period. End of story.”

UCHealth said they have not had anyone visit their emergency rooms from taking ivermectin, but they have had calls from people asking whether it’s safe to take it.

Zane said there are very rare occasions when it could used to treat parasites in humans, but he wants it to be clear: COVID-19 is not a parasite.

Even the manufacturer of ivermectin warns against humans trying to use it to treat COVID-19, stating that it is toxic for humans.

Zane said one of the main and only options for treating COVID-19 is to use monoclonal antibodies. The FDA approved emergency use authorization to some pharmaceutical companies to develop monoclonal antibodies.

But Zane reiterates that the best way to keep yourself safe is get vaccinated, wear a mask and wash your hands.

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