A Doctor in San Antonio in the United States was surprised when his Covid –19 patients kept asking him for Ivermectin, a deworming drug mostly used on animals. What is even more surprising is that Ivermectin had failed in clinical trials in treating patients infected with the Coronavirus. While this particular doctor refused to prescribe Ivermectin, many doctors did not.
Ivermectin For Covid-19 Treatment
A report from the American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mentioned that increased demand for ivermectin raised the demand for this deworming drug from pre-pandemic levels of 3600 per week to 88000 per week across the United States. Travis Walthall, a pharmacist in Kuna Idaho, was surprised to find Ivermectin running out of stock. Kuna is a small town of 20000 people and he rarely sold more than 2 or 3 in a year. He had received more than 20 prescriptions just during summer and he as well as his suppliers have run out of stock.
Ivermectin is a parasiticide for animals and is used to treat gastrointestinal roundworms, lungworms, grubs, and lice. Physicians in the United States are raising alarms about people procuring Ivermectin from livestock centers. CDC researchers probed and found that there had been phone calls from people who had consumed ivermectin from livestock supply stores. The calls had been made to state poison control centers.
Dr. Shawn Varney, a toxicologist and medical director for the South Texas Poison Center, said his center had received 190 calls for exposure to ivermectin in 2019 which increased to 260 during this year and is expected to go up to 400 by the end of this year. Dr. Varney later found that people had been calling up after they experienced nausea, muscle pain, and diarrhea after ivermectin overdoses.
It is interesting to note that ivermectin had originally been introduced as a veterinary drug in the 1970s and was successfully found to treat parasitic infections in humans and this finding won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2015.
The Food and drug administration (FDA) in the United States issued a warning that Ivermectin is not an FDA-approved drug and consuming large doses can be harmful.
A large number of tests have been conducted to study if Ivermectin is really effective in treating Covid-19. A recent review of 14 different studies on 1600 patients did not provide any conclusive evidence of the ability of Ivermectin to either prevent Covid-19, improve serious patient conditions or reduce deaths in any way. Another 31 studies of the effects of Ivermectin on Covid-19 patients are still in progress.
One of the largest trials of Ivermectin on 1300 Covid-19 patients, called them together trial, was led by Dr. Edward Mills of McMaster University but was stopped by the Data Safety Monitoring Board as this drug was not found to be having any positive effect on the patients in terms of reducing hospitalization or early release from hospitalization. Dr. Mills later said it was only the unnatural public interest in Ivermectin that had kept the study going.
Another study led by Dr. Eduardo Lopez Medina from the Center of Pediatric Infectious diseases in Colombia found that Ivermectin in higher doses up to 300mg did not reduce Covid-19 infection but did not cause the infection to increase either.
Researchers and physicians are worried about the confidence of people in uncharted medicine rather than the vaccines and are requesting people to go for vaccination as greater protection from Covid-19 infection. Dr. Erwin Redlener, founder of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University that the effort to get the pandemic under control gets interference when people read different reports on the net and then do not get themselves vaccinated.
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