SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The intake of ivermectin has increased exponentially in recent months. In several states, officials have even reported an ivermectin shortage.
Ivermectin is a prescription medication authorized by the FDA, but only for the treatment of parasites.
“There has been shown some promising antiviral capabilities with this medication, there’s just not enough known about the safety and effectiveness of treating COVID-19,” Tyler Brock with the Siouxland District Health Department said.
A recent study shows more ivermectin being purchased from pharmacies and veterinary shops in the United States during the pandemic.
Before the recent ivermectin surge, the average prescriptions sold per week were 3,600. In January 2021, 33,000 prescriptions were sold per week. Just last month, sold prescriptions reached more than 88,000 per week, representing a 24-fold increase from the pre-pandemic baseline.
“More people have been taking it as a potential treatment for Covid-19 and it’s just not ready for that.”
Brock said here in Sioux City, Poison Control has received calls reporting ivermectin overdoses, as well as affects of misuse in consumption.
“Some of the less serious side affects are going to be nausea, vomiting, diarrhea things like that but there can be even more serious side affects like confusion, seizures, hallucinations.”
He’s urging the public not to take ivermectin, rather wait until more research has been done.
“I don’t want to discount it completely, because there is some potential there but you know what kind of dosage is needed, you know your interactions with other medications you take, you know, these are serious things that need to be considered before you take any kind of medication,” Brock said.
Brock said clinical trials on ivermectin are happening right now and to wait for those results before taking any risks, getting vaccinated is still the best way to be protected from COVID-19.