It was after the outbreak of the Delta variant of Covid that the popularity of ivermectin skyrocketed in the nation. The drug was used on Covid patients, but, it did not fetch the desired results. It should be also noted that ivermectin is available as a generic medicine in the United States, and it made several people rely on this drug as a cure to Covid. Anti-vaxxers in the country also propagated the usage of this drug which is also used on animals, and they claimed that receiving the vaccine is not necessary to save people from Covid infection.
Warning from FDA
As the sale of ivermectin reached a record peak, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned people not to take this drug. In August, the agency wrote on its Twitter page, "You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, stop it."
In a recent report on the drug, researchers detailed several side effects of using this drug, which include, confusion, loss of control over body movement ("ataxia"), weakness, low blood pressure, seizures, gastrointestinal distress, dizziness, vision symptoms, or rash.
According to medical experts, these side effects will be triggered if a person uses too much of the drug or if he combines it with other medicines.
"It's very easy to give yourself too much. Most people who develop symptoms probably took too much, but we did have several people who were taking it for days and weeks and then developed toxicity. It's an unusual medication in that it has a lot of interactions, so even if you're taking the normal dose prescribed for other disorders, you can get sick because of interactions with other medications.," said Dr Robert Hendrickson, associate medical director of the Oregon Poison Center, in Portland.
During the study, researchers, reviewed ivermectin-related calls to the Oregon Poison Center in August, and they came to know that 21 people reported side effects after taking ivermectin.
People taking ivermectin to prevent Covid
Researchers, in their study report, noted that 11 people in this list used ivermectin to prevent Covid, while 10 took the drug to treat Covid symptoms.
Six of the 21 people had toxic effects from ivermectin, and all of them took the medicine to prevent Covid infection. All these six people were treated in the Intensive Care Unit, and none died.
"The only indication for prescribing ivermectin is to treat a parasitic intestinal infection known as strongyloidiasis [roundworm]. It also may be used for onchocerciasis [river blindness] or as a topical treatment for pediculosis [lice] and rosacea. In general, it had value treating parasites in pets and livestock," said Dr Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.