Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug well known for treating animals, is flying off store shelves in a Midwest State. This is despite warnings from doctors and public health officials. They claim that people do continue to purchase and wrongfully use Ivermectin due to a false belief it will cure them of COVID-19.
Ivermectin: Increase in Demand
There are local stores that are saying the increase in demand is making it hard for them and their suppliers to keep up.
“Moreover, we order it every week,” says Steve Probst. Probst owns Northwest Feed and Grain in Omaha, Nebraska. “Then usually, it gets back-ordered. However, every once in a while we’ll get some in.”
Ivermectin not Approved by CDC and FDA Administration to Treat COVID-19
The drug has not been approved by the Centers for Disease Control or the Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID-19, despite the claims it could help. It has in fact been approved for use in humans to treat some skin conditions and parasitic worms. Last month, the FDA did issue a warning about the drug.
No “Horsing Around” With Ivermectin
“Moreover, a lot of people have come in and asked for it. Then, sometimes we’ll ask them what they’re using it. Like in general I ask: ‘how many horses do you have?’ Then you will be able to tell pretty quick if they’re a horse owner or not,” Probst said.
The Ivermectin products people are buying off the shelves are only specified for use in animals like horses and cows. This is much different than the Ivermectin that is approved for humans. In fact, the CDC also noted last month that false claims the drug could be used to treat COVID-19 were, in fact, driving up prescriptions
Side Effects and Risks
“There are medications that are formulating for animals are often in a higher concentrating dose. Moreover, if you think about just the size of the animal, a horse is a much bigger animal than a sheep, and different things are formulating in a different way so there are specific risks for more side effects. Then when taking a larger dose than intending for humans in terms of consumption,” says the local poison control education coordinator Angie Pasho.