Since the pandemic started, people have been trying their best to stay healthy and not catch COVID-19. In recent months there has been a lot of information shared online and within the media about the use of ivermectin in humans. Some information is factual while other information is not. In this blog, we cover the basics of ivermectin and what you should know.
What is Ivermectin?
Ivermectin is a medication primarily used in animals to kill parasites in the stomach. Many states require a prescription to purchase it, but in Texas, you can find this at a local feed store for horses and cattle (these are NOT approved for human use). When it comes to the use of this drug in humans, ivermectin is only FDA-approved as a prescription antiparasitic that assists in treating river blindness, strongyloidiasis, and onchocerciasis. A topical form can also be used to treat rosacea and head lice. Currently, it is not approved for the treatment of COVID-19.
Since the use of ivermectin for COVID-19 has been circling the internet, many have purchased ivermectin for use. The Texas Poison Center Network has received many calls. Some cases have resulted in severe toxicity. Toxicity can cause these symptoms:
· Nausea and Vomiting
· Dizziness and Fatigue
· Visual Changes
· Skin Rashes
· Low Blood Pressure
Fast Heart Rate
In more severe cases, it can cause coma, seizures, hallucinations, and tremors. So, what is causing individuals to overdose on ivermectin? If you were to purchase ivermectin at a feed store, it might come in a paste format (usually flavored, too!). Keep in mind, this paste format is highly concentrated. Ivermectin is made for a horse or cow, weighing practically a ton more than the average human being. High doses such as this, when used in humans, are highly toxic.
If you or a loved one has come in contact with ivermectin, please reach out to the poison center for help. We have nurses and pharmacists who answer the phone around the clock. Take the time to save this number on your phone: 1-800-222-1222.