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FDA begs people to stop taking animal drug ivermectin to treat COVID

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The FDA is fed up.

The nation’s pharmaceutical regulator is clearly irked by the dangerous promotion of the drug ivermectin — used to address parasitic worms in animals and sometimes humans — to treat or prevent the respiratory disease COVID. On Saturday, the agency tweeted:

“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

In Mississippi, for example, some people are ingesting ivermectin, resulting in a worrying spike in poison control calls. “At least 70% of the recent calls have been related to ingestion of livestock or animal formulations of ivermectin purchased at livestock supply centers,” the Mississippi State Department of Health said on Friday.

Like every disease, real prevention is much better for all parties involved than someone falling ill and having to seek treatment. What’s more, continued disease outbreaks result in floods of sickened people that overwork and exhaust doctors and nurses, sometimes resulting in trauma. Fortunately, highly effective vaccines are available in the U.S, which undergo rigorous, continued scrutiny for safety from the FDA. They protect over 95 percent (and in some regions 99 percent) of people from severe illness that requires hospitalization.


“In vaccinated individuals, the vaccines will be really protective against the Delta variant, in particular for severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.”

“In vaccinated individuals, the vaccines will be really protective against the Delta variant, in particular for severe illness, hospitalizations, and death,” Dr. Thomas Russo, the chief of infectious disease at the University of Buffalo, told Mashable this week.

As the FDA states online: “FDA has not approved ivermectin for use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans.” It’s particularly bad to use doses meant for large animals, like horses and cows, in human bodies. “Taking large doses of this drug is dangerous and can cause serious harm,” the agency said.

Disinformation looms large online and elsewhere these days. Beware. It’s best to heed the words of experts who research vaccines and viruses, as opposed to recommendations from feedstores: You want to prevent a serious infection, not try and treat one with an unapproved or unauthorized medicine.

SEE ALSO:

How to live with the Delta variant, according to disease experts

Vaccines have had, and continue to have, excellent safety track records in the U.S. (in addition to eliminating maladies like the crippling disease polio in the nation).

“You should have a plan to be vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Dr. Russo.



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