NEW YORK (WROC) — Officials from the Upstate New York Poison Center cautioned against the use of ivermectin Saturday, an anti-parasite drug that is being wrongfully taken by some to treat COVID-19.
Ivermectin is commonly used in veterinary care and is sometimes used to treat parasitic infections on humans. People are now buying it from over the counter and using it to surpass the COVID-19 virus.
As the demand for the drug increases rapidly with more veterinary supply store shelves left empty, the Upstate New York Poison center is asking people to work with their doctor for COVID-19 treatment methods.
“It’s mainly used for certain types of parasitic infections that can be treated in humans and in animals too. But we have seen an interested nationally for it’s treatment in COVID 19,” Dr. Vincent Calleo with the Upstate New York Poison Center said. “Ivermectin is a medication that when used properly and prescribed by a doctor can be safe and effective but it should only be used when prescribed by a doctor.”
Side effects of ivermectin include rash, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, liver injury and an altered mental status.
Health experts are comparing the rush over ivermectin with last year’s interest in hydroxychloroquine. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved the drug for use against the COVID-19 virus.