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FDA Warns Consumers to Not Use Ivermectin for COVID-19

Agency has received reports of patients requiring medical support after self-medicating with ivermectin for use in horses

MONDAY, March 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a consumer update last week regarding the use of ivermectin for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

The agency noted it has received multiple reports of patients requiring medical support and hospitalization after self-medicating with ivermectin for use in horses. Ivermectin tablets are currently approved to treat strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis in humans. Both conditions are caused by parasitic worms. Topical forms are also approved for treatment of external parasites such as head lice and for skin conditions such as rosacea. The FDA said initial research is underway, but the agency has not yet reviewed any data to support the use of ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19.

The FDA warned consumers that taking large doses of ivermectin is dangerous and can cause serious harm and reminded them that any prescription for ivermectin must be for an FDA-approved use from a legitimate source and should be taken as prescribed.

Health care professionals are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to any of these products using the FDA MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

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