Aug 21, 2021 - Health

FDA urges people to stop taking ivermectin to treat COVID-19

Picture of ivermectin tablet boxes
Photo: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday urged people to stop taking ivermectin — a drug used to treat parasites in animals — to respond to or prevent the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The Mississippi State Health Department on Friday sent a letter warning health workers of the increase in poisonings from people taking ivermectin.

What they're saying: "The Mississippi Poison Control Center has received an increasing number of calls from individuals with potential ivermectin exposure taken to treat or prevent COVID-19 infection," state officials said in the letter.

  • "At least 70% of the recent calls have been related to ingestion of livestock or animal formulations of ivermectin purchased at livestock supply centers," they added.
  • "Never use medications intended for animals on yourself. Ivermectin preparations for animals are very different from those approved for humans," FDA guidance says.

Flashback: The World Health Organization in March issued a warning saying ivermectin should only be used in clinical trials because evidence of its use for the coronavirus was "inconclusive."

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