Instead of getting a vaccine that has been approved by the FDA for humans, many Americans are going out of their way to stave off the coronavirus with alternative methods that have definitely not been approved for humans. And yet, state poison controls centers are reporting a serious uptick in calls from people who have either been exposed to or have taken a medication that’s intended for mammals with four legs, not two.
Ivermectin, a livestock dewormer, is being touted as a cure for COVID19 by right-wing extremists. While a human version of the drug does exist, it is not the same formula given to horses, sheep, and cows, and it’s not approved to treat COVID-19 because there’s no clear evidence from any major study that it helps.
Fox News hosts have pushed the drug as an effective treatment for COVID-19. A non-peer-reviewed study that appeared to show a strong benefit was retracted, because of issues with plagiarism and manipulated data. Phil Valentine, a conservative radio host in Tennessee, had told his audience he found a doctor to prescribe him ivermectin. Valentine later died of COVID-19. His brother said the host regretted not being a strong advocate for vaccination.
Ivermectin: My husband is a board certified medical toxicologist. There are reports that it inhibits replication of RNA viruses in vitro, it takes ~150 TIMES the recommended dose to achieve that. Most people become comatose at 10 times the recommended dose, incl many this year.
— Emily Porter, M.D. (@dremilyportermd) August 26, 2021
State poison control centers will now ask people where they bought it and which formula after the increase in calls, because stores selling the product are required to display clear signage indicating that Ivermectin is not meant for human consumption. It’s gotten so out of hand that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has had to remind human beings to not take livestock dewormers.
BREAKING: CDC warns against the off-label use of Ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19 amid reports of severe illnesses pic.twitter.com/kv3N7SgI8G
— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) August 26, 2021
The FDA is also using social media to try to reach people more swayed by conspiracy theories than science.
You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it. https://t.co/TWb75xYEY4
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) August 21, 2021
And yet, not enough people are listening. Inmates at a northwest Arkansas jail have been prescribed Ivermectin, which was confirmed by the Washington County, AR, sheriff’s office this week. Sheriff Tim Helder did not say how many inmates at the 710-bed facility had been given Ivermectin and defended the health provider that has been prescribing the medication that the jail’s health provider had been prescribing. It is not clear what information inmates who were prescribed the drug have been given about it, including warnings that it is not approved to treat COVID19.
For the people taking ivermectin to battle COVID, how are you feeling? Any neigh-gative side effects? Maybe a little horse? Catch a colt? Got the trots? Well saddle up. It’s going to be quite a ride.
— Trent Capelli 🇨🇦 (@TrentCapelli) August 26, 2021
Health officials in Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi this week warned people not to take the veterinary formulation of the drug after seeing an uptick in calls to their poison control centers. “Morning Joe” spent some time Thursday morning on the Ivermectin controversy. Watch the full segment, below.