Despite warnings by doctors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) against the use of ivermectin, a horse dewormer, to treat COVID-19, a total of 88,000 prescriptions for the drug have been given in the United States. The number is 24 times bigger than the prescriptions recorded before the pandemic. There is a 550 percent increase in Texas alone as to the number of prescriptions regarding the drug.
According to reports, the prescriptions are based on rumors that this drug could potentially treat COVID-19. In a warning to Americans on Thursday against the drug, the CDC said that “clinical trials and observational studies to evaluate the use of ivermectin to prevent and treat COVID-19 in humans have yielded insufficient evidence.”
It said that authorities still need data from “adequately sized, well-designed, and well-conducted clinical trials” to provide more specific, evidence-based guidance on the role of the drug in the treatment of COVID-19, the Daily Mail reported.
Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic medication commonly used for horses and cows. It combats roundworms and other bugs in livestock. It can be used on humans as anti-worm medicine in some instances but in significantly smaller doses.
The increase in the use of the drug came after many posted on social media regarding ivermectin’s ability to treat the virus. Some prominent personalities also talked about the use of the drug.
Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham pushed for such a drug as an alternative to treat COVID-19. Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, also recommended the use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as treatments for the virus through a YouTube video. His YouTube account was later suspended for posting such.
One of the side effects of using ivermectin is poisoning. In Mississippi, 70 percent of recent poison controls calls were due to the dewormer. In Texas, there was also an increase in poison calls because of the drug. Last August, there were only two poison control calls due to the drug. This year of the same month, there were 55 calls.