August 30, 2021
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a public health advisory about the concerning rise in calls to poison control centers related to an anti-parasite medication being used off-label to treat COVID-19.
Last week, the FDA issued an advisory about a rapid increase in ivermectin prescriptions and calls to national poison control centers associated with the use of products containing the medication. The agency stressed that ivermectin has not been approved to treat COVID-19, and is authorized in specific doses for treatment of parasitic worms, head lice, and skin conditions like rosacea. In addition, therapies for animals containing ivermectin should not be used in humans, the agency stressed.
“Ivermectin is not authorized or approved by FDA for prevention or treatment of COVID-19,” the FDA said in its advisory. “The National Institutes of Health’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel has also determined that there are currently insufficient data to recommend ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19.”
The FDA advisory and public health officials across the country are urging people to avoid the unproven treatment for COVID-19 amid a flurry of social media attention.
Here’s what you need to know about the FDA advisory:
“Taking a drug for an unapproved use can be very dangerous. This is true of ivermectin, too,” the FDA said in a statement. “There’s a lot of misinformation around, and you may have heard that it’s okay to take large doses of ivermectin. That is wrong.”
Seek immediate medical attention or call the poison control center hotline at (800) 222-1222 if you have taken ivermectin or a product that contains ivermectin and are experiencing symptoms, the FDA said.
HAP strongly encourages everyone who has questions about ivermectin to talk with their health care provider for more information.
HAP also encourages everyone who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are our most effective tool to prevent severe cases of the virus, including the Delta variant.
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines online.
Tags: Public Health | COVID-19
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