Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
22 Aug 2021
11:49 am

‘You are not a horse’: FDA fed up with people taking Ivermectin

Cheryl Kahla

The manufacturers of Ivermectin also said there is not enough data available to 'support the safety and efficacy' of the drug as a Covid-19 treatment.

A health worker shows a box containing a bottle of Ivermectin. Photo: AFP/Luis Robayo

The otherwise reserved US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Saturday lost its cool with ‘Covid-truthers’ who still take Ivermectin to treat Covid-19. The agency tweeted:

“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it”.

The FDA said taking large doses of Ivermectin is “dangerous and can cause serious harm”.

ALSO READ: Ivermectin: Killer drug or miracle cure?

While it is an FDA-approved drug, it is not approved for the treatment or prevention of Covid-19 in humans. Here’s what you need to know.

Ivermectin: What you need to know

What is Ivermectin?

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug used in different forms for both animals and people. A few studies published during the pandemic’s early days touted its benefits as a Covid-19 treatment.

It is approved by the FDA, but mainly for use in animals for the prevention of heartworm disease and for treatment of certain internal and external parasites.

In the United States, Mississippi’s poison control centre issued a safety alert on Friday after its hotline received a surge in calls from people ingesting the drug.

Can humans ingest Ivermectin?

The FDA said there are approved uses for the drug in people “but it is not approved for the prevention or treatment of Covid-19”.

Merck, the company that manufactures Ivermectin, said in a statement there is no scientific basis or “meaningful evidence for clinical efficacy in patients with Covid-19”.

“We do not believe that the data available support the safety and efficacy of Ivermectin beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information”.

Why do people use Ivermectin for Covid-19?

A study titled Meta-analysis of Randomized Trials of Ivermectin to Treat SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Andrew Hill and others said the drug showed in-vitro activity against SARS-COV-2 at high concentrations.

However, the authors of the study have since retracted the paper, due to fraudulent data. Paul Sax, the editor of the journal which published the paper, said:

“We and the authors have learned that one of the studies on which this analysis was based has been withdrawn due to fraudulent data. The authors will be submitting a revised version excluding this study, and the currently posted paper will be retracted”.

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