Everyone wants some cure for Covid because it’s such a devastating illness. I plead with people to stop using ivermectin and get the vaccine because it’s the best protection we have at this point. Everything else is risk after risk. — Dr. Shawn Varney, a toxicologist and medical director for the South Texas Poison Center
Everyone wants some cure for Covid because it’s such a devastating illness. I plead with people to stop using ivermectin and get the vaccine because it’s the best protection we have at this point. Everything else is risk after risk. — Dr. Shawn Varney, a toxicologist and medical director for the South Texas Poison Center

The only functional strategy we have for getting control of Covid-19 is vaccination. If people are not getting vaccinated because of nonsense they’re reading on the internet, that interferes with our ability to get this pandemic under control. — Dr. Irwin Redlener, a physician in New York and founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University
The only functional strategy we have for getting control of Covid-19 is vaccination. If people are not getting vaccinated because of nonsense they’re reading on the internet, that interferes with our ability to get this pandemic under control. — Dr. Irwin Redlener, a physician in New York and founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University

Ivermectin Demand Surges Though It Doesn’t Work for Covid-19
Prescriptions for ivermectin have seen a sharp rise in recent weeks, jumping to more than 88,000 per week in mid-August from a prepandemic baseline average of 3,600 per week, according to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some pharmacists are even reporting shortages of the drug. Travis Walthall, a pharmacist in Kuna, Idaho, a town of about 20,000 people, said that this summer alone he had filled more than 20 ivermectin prescriptions, up from two or three in a typical year. For the past week he has not been able to obtain the drug from his suppliers; they were all out.

Mr. Walthall was astonished, he said, at how many people were willing to take an unapproved drug for Covid. “I’m like, gosh, this is horrible,” he said.

While sometimes given to humans in small doses for head lice, scabies and other parasites, ivermectin is more commonly used in animals. Physicians are raising alarms about a growing number of people getting the drug from livestock supply centers, where it can come in highly concentrated paste or liquid forms.

Calls to poison control centers about ivermectin exposures have risen dramatically, jumping fivefold over their baseline in July, according to C.D.C. researchers, who cited data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Mississippi’s health department said earlier this month that 70 percent of recent calls to the state poison control center had come from people who ingested ivermectin from livestock supply stores.

Dr. Shawn Varney, a toxicologist and medical director for the South Texas Poison Center, said that in 2019 his center received 191 calls about exposure to ivermectin; so far this year the center has received 260 calls and is on pace to reach 390 by the end of the year. The vast majority of the recent calls came from people who took a veterinary product in an attempt to treat or prevent Covid-19.

“Everyone wants some cure for Covid because it’s such a devastating illness,” Dr. Varney said. “I plead with people to stop using ivermectin and get the vaccine because it’s the best protection we have at this point. Everything else is risk after risk.”

Dr. Varney said people calling the poison control center after taking ivermectin sometimes reported nausea, muscle pain and diarrhea. He noted that there have been ivermectin overdose deaths in the past, though he did not know of any specifically associated with Covid-19.

The biggest risk, he added, comes from people taking the livestock product and ingesting a far higher dose than is appropriate for humans — sometimes 10 to 15 times the amount that a capsule approved for humans might contain.

“People are going to animal feed stores and getting a formulation that’s highly concentrated because it’s for 1,000-pound animals,” Dr. Varney said. “They’re opening themselves to great potential harm.”

... The biggest risk, he added, comes from people taking the livestock product and ingesting a far higher dose than is appropriate for humans — sometimes 10 to 15 times the amount that a capsule approved for humans might contain.

“People are going to animal feed stores and getting a formulation that’s highly concentrated because it’s for 1,000-pound animals,” Dr. Varney said. “They’re opening themselves to great potential harm.”

... “The only functional strategy we have for getting control of Covid-19 is vaccination,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, a physician in New York and founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. “If people are not getting vaccinated because of nonsense they’re reading on the internet, that interferes with our ability to get this pandemic under control.”
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/30/health/covid-ivermectin-prescriptions.html