US federal agency warns of risks of ivermectin use against COVID-19

US federal agency warns of risks of ivermectin use against COVID-19

In the fight against the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the United States federal health agency Food and Drug Administration (FDA), issued an alert on the use of invermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. The opinion is that the drug is not recommended for this use and large amounts may pose risks to the patient’s health.

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According to the note released by the FDA, the vermifuge ivermectin tablets are not considered antiviral – a type of medicine recommended to assist in the treatment of COVID – and are approved in specific doses for some parasitic worms, such as lice, and for other diseases such as rosacea ( chronic inflammatory skin disease). “Taking large doses of this drug is dangerous and can cause serious damage,” warns the agency.

US federal agency issues warning about the risks of using ivermectin against COVID-19 (Image: Reproduction / Pexels)

Is Ivermectin approved for use against COVID-19?

“The FDA has not approved ivermectin for use in the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 in humans,” notes the note from the US federal agency. According to FDA criteria, the drug is approved “in very specific doses for some parasitic worms, and there are topical formulations (on the skin) for lice and skin diseases such as rosacea. Ivermectin is not an antiviral (a medication for virus treatment) “.

In addition, the FDA explains that “even levels of ivermectin for approved uses can interact with other drugs, such as anticoagulants” and cause unexpected effects in patients. “There may also be an overdose of ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (balance problems), seizures, coma and even death” , punctuates.

Another issue raised is that ivermectin products for animals may differ from ivermectin products prescribed for people. “Never use drugs intended for animals on you. The ivermectin preparations for animals are very different from those approved for humans,” says the FDA.

In this scenario, the alert about the use of ivermectin against COVID-19 was issued after “several reports of patients who needed medical support and were hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin for horses”, explains the US federal agency.

FDA and other entities do not recommend the use of ivermectin

Regarding the alert for the use of ivermectin, the US agency recalls that “the FDA’s job is to carefully evaluate the scientific data on a drug to make sure it is safe and effective for a specific use and then decide whether to approve it or No. The use of any treatment for COVID-19 that is not approved or authorized by the FDA, unless it is part of a clinical trial, can cause serious harm. “

Without an officially effective drug for the prevention of COVID-19, the FDA says that “effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 remain to wear a mask, stay at least 2 meters away from other people who do not live with you. , wash your hands often and avoid crowds “.

Around the world, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) also has a similar position for not recommending ivermectin against COVID-19 and defends that “the approved indications for ivermectin are those contained in the package insert”. In addition, Merck (MSD), which manufactures ivermectin tablets, has opposed the use outside the label, highlighting the lack of scientific evidence for its use against the coronavirus.