Ivermectin and COVID-19

If you have seen stories suggesting the use of ivermectin, a so-called “miracle cure” medication, for COVID-19–beware.,

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If you have seen stories suggesting the use of ivermectin, a so-called “miracle cure” medication, for COVID-19–beware.

While the can be prescribed in humans to treat various parasites, scabies or highly resistant cases of lice, ivermectin is most commonly used in livestock as an anti-parasitic. There are no proven benefits for its use in treating COVID-19.

Veterinarians often prescribe ivermectin as a de-wormer for livestock, most commonly horses. The drug is used so frequently to treat animals that you can generally find it sold over-the-counter in feed and pet stores. It is important to note that the dosages intended for use in animals, particularly horses, are much larger than those used in humans. Therefore, a taking even a single dose of ivermectin which is intended for use in animals could experience dangerous consequences.

Some risks associated with high doses of ivermectin include:

  • Allergic reactions.
  • Serious skin reactions including severe rashes.
  • Seizures.
  • Cardiovascular issues, including low blood pressure.
  • Visual disturbances.

Vaccines remain the safest and most effective preventative measure against COVID-19. They are proven to prevent severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalization and death.

If you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms, you should quarantine yourself and contact your for further advice. Seek immediately if your symptoms worsen. If you live with, or are in close contact with others, wear a mask. You should never attempt to treat COVID-19 with over-the-counter or veterinary medications or at- without seeking guidance from your physician or pharmacist.


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Provided by
University of Kentucky

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