Covid-19: Health officials urge Americans not to use ivermectine

Faced with numerous cases of hospitalizations, the Food and Drug Administration warns of the taking in the United States of an antiparasitic treatment, ivermectin, used mainly in animals and seen as a miracle cure by some against the coronavirus.

“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, stop ” , wrote this Saturday, August 21, on his Twitter account the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the equivalent in the United States of the French Agency for the safety of health products.

The subject of this alert: hospitalizations due to taking ivermectin, as a treatment against Covid-19. An antiparasitic used in self-medication without any medical follow-up.


Mississippi health authority alert

24 hours before this notice, the health authorities of Mississippi had already sounded the alarm in front of a peak of poisonings caused by people having taken this treatment.

"At least 70% of recent calls (to the Mississippi Poison Center) are related to the ingestion of ivermectin formulations intended for livestock or animals and purchased from livestock supply centers," the Department of Justice worried. Mississippi health, reports a Hill article .

The FDA, in front of these "multiple reports of patients having been hospitalized after having self-medication with ivermectin intended for horses" , chose to clarify things by recalling that this drug, seen by some as a miracle cure against the coronavirus, is primarily " often used in the United States to treat or prevent parasites in animals . "

She recalls that she has not approved the use of this drug for the treatment or prevention of Covid-19 in humans, adding that it can even be dangerous and cause significant damage.


Many side effects

The US federal agency specifies that there are two types of treatments containing ivermectin. One is a treatment for men, used to treat cases of intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, two conditions caused by parasitic worms, or external parasites such as lice and skin conditions such as rosacea.

The other is used in animals to treat dewormers and certain internal and external parasites: "These products are different from those intended for humans" , explains the authority.

Those prescribed for animals include very high doses which can be very toxic to humans because they are intended for "large sizes such as horses and cows, which can weigh much more than us ", details the FDA .


Ongoing studies

There are many studies underway, she adds, like this study by the Institut Pasteur from July 2021, which shows that ivermectin protects against symptoms of Covid-19 in an animal model, but it does not show any effect of the molecule on the viral replication of SARS-CoV-2.

“These types of lab studies are commonly used at an early stage in drug development. Further testing is needed to determine whether ivermectin might be appropriate for preventing or treating coronavirus or Covid-19 infections , ” the FDA adds .

Most in-depth studies, such as (randomized) clinical trials , have shown an absence of effect of this treatment against Covid-19, recalls for his part Professor Andrew Hill, microbiologist from the University of Liverpool, who assesses since March 2020 various treatments against the coronavirus including ivermectin.

"The FDA has neither reviewed this data nor approved this treatment against Covid-19, repeatedly challenges the authority in this article published on its website adding that " taking a drug for an unapproved use can be very dangerous ”.


Many side effects

"Disinformation continues to kill" , notes the French infectious disease specialist Nathan Peiffer-Smadja on his Twitter account, specifying that "as for hydroxychloroquine" "no effectiveness of ivermectin" has been proven.

Deploring the many infoxes circulating, the American health authority wishes to list the side effects caused by taking this treatment: "Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (drop in blood pressure), allergic reactions ( itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (balance disorders), convulsions, coma and even death ” .

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