FDA Request: Don’t Take Horse Heartworm Drugs for COVID

People have been self-medicating with a drug intended to treat heartworms in animals.

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In what should be categorized as “common sense,” the FDA is warning people against taking animal heartworm drugs to prevent and treat COVID-19. A recent AARP article noted that the agency has received multiple reports of patients requiring medical attention and hospitalization after taking ivermectin, which is an anti-parasite intended for horses. This prompted the FDA to release a statement titled, Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.

It should be noted that the FDA has approved the use of ivermectin in small doses to treat people with conditions caused by parasitic worms. Early studies have shown that ivermectin can inhibit the replication of the novel coronavirus, but to be an effective antiviral medication would require administering doses up to 100 times higher than the FDA has approved.

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