Ivermectin for Covid

Ivermectin for Covid

Ivermectin in an FDA approved drug for the treatment of intestinal strongyloidiasis (round worm) and onchocerciasis (filarial worm).  It is also used in veterinary medicine to treat parasites in pets and in livestock. 

Because of significant use of Ivermectin off label to either try and prevent or to try and treat Covid, scientists have scrutinized its potential.  Of interest in vitro (in a test tube) Ivermectin does inhibit replication of the virus.  Unfortunately, in vivo (in actual patients) multiple studies have confirmed that it fails to either prevent Covid or treat Covid.  Despite these scientific facts, thousands of Americans have taken Ivermectin for Covid.  These individuals obtain either veterinary Ivermectin or prescription Ivermectin. 

This wouldn’t be a problem if Ivermectin were a perfectly safe drug.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.  Oregon Health and Science University recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine a plethora of cases of Ivermectin toxicity.  

The usual treatment of Strongyloides is 12 to 14 mg either one time or twice.  But some individuals using the drug for Covid are using much larger doses and for longer periods of time.  The University of Oregon has compiled a study of Ivermectin toxicity.  To date no one has died, but there have been many patients hospitalized and many requiring ICU care for their toxicity.  The majority of these individuals were using veterinary products without prescription guidance.  Some were taking as much as 100 to 125 mg a day.  The main toxic effects were gastrointestinal, cardio vascular or neurologic.  The neurologic side effects included generalized weakness, ataxia and seizures. 

As the Covid pandemic continues it is critical that good scientific inquiry and open-mindedness prevail.  But at this point in time good science indicates that Ivermectin is not helpful and can be harmful. 

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