When people get fixated on inappropriate recommendations, then they unfortunately don’t get vaccinated. They don’t do the things that will actually help. — Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green (D), an emergency room doctor
When people get fixated on inappropriate recommendations, then they unfortunately don’t get vaccinated. They don’t do the things that will actually help. — Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green (D), an emergency room doctor
Doctors dismayed by patients who fear coronavirus vaccines but clamor for unproven ivermectin
Oklahoma doctor Matthew Payne regularly encounters covid-19 patients in his hospital who say they had feared coronavirus vaccines and thought they had found a safer approach — taking ivermectin, a medicine long used to kill parasites in animals and humans.

“There is surprise and shock when they initially get sick and have to come to the hospital,” said Payne, a hospitalist at Stillwater Medical Center. “They’ll say, ‘I’m not sure why I feel so bad. I was taking the ivermectin,’ and I will say, ‘It doesn’t do any good.’ ”


Doctors and public health officials say they have spent the pandemic fighting rampant misinformation on top of a deadly virus, but the ivermectin craze is one of their strangest battles yet. Promoted by conservative talk show hosts, politicians and even some physicians as an effective treatment for covid-19, the medication has soared in popularity this year despite having no proven anti-viral benefits — and also some clear harms when abused. Prescriptions of the anti-parasitic medication, used to treat river blindness and intestinal roundworms in people, have spiked during the pandemic and especially this summer, jumping from an average of 3,600 weekly prescriptions in the year before the pandemic, to more than 88,000 in one week in August, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health departments are warning of spikes in ivermectin poisoning and hospitalizations as people snap up feed store products meant for large animals. “You are not a horse,” the Food and Drug Administration felt compelled to declare last month. “You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” The agency has not approved ivermectin to treat or prevent covid-19 and urged against that use in a recent public advisory, warning that “taking large doses of this drug is dangerous” and potentially fatal.

Experts worry the enthusiasm for the deworming medicine is muddying urgent messaging about the only proven way to protect against severe cases of covid-19 — vaccines that were determined to be safe and effective after large, randomized clinical trials and given to more than 170 million people in the United States. Many officials despair of the embrace of unproven approaches such as ivermectin and vitamin cocktails over vaccines as a symptom of a broader problem: a public health crisis made worse by many people’s distrust of medical authorities while they rely on often faulty information from some of the country’s most influential people, which is amplified through social media.

“When people get fixated on inappropriate recommendations, then they unfortunately don’t get vaccinated,” said Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green (D), an emergency room doctor who blames conservative media for fanning unfounded hopes about ivermectin. “They don’t do the things that will actually help.”


Calls about ivermectin exposure to poison control centers around the country jumped to five times normal levels in July, according to data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers. About a third of nearly 1,200 calls so far this year involved people referred for medical treatment, and about 8 percent were ultimately admitted to a hospital, said Alvin Bronstein, who leads the association’s national data system. The share of people admitted to the critical care unit more than quadrupled compared with the same period last year.
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/09/01/ivermectin-covid-treatment/