If you’re doctor says take Ivermectin OK, but don’t buy hyped COVID-19 cure all at feedstore and self-medicate, top doctor says

Published 5:44 pm Thursday, August 19, 2021

With one person already hospitalized due to overdosing on an Internet-fabled drug in an attempt to treat or prevent COVID-19, Mississippi’s top public health official urged Mississippians to not self-medicate themselves with animal medication.

A number of Americans, presumably using the advice they’ve found through online sources have turned to a drug called ivermectin, which is commonly used to treat parasites like worms in farm animals. The drug is approved for use in humans, but only for specific uses like treating river blindness and scabies, both caused by parasites.

“I would strongly recommend people not take medication from a feedstore,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs, with the Mississippi State Department of Health said Wednesday. “It can be dangerous. Ivermectin at high doses can be toxic and even deadly at high doses.”

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Although several sources online tout the drug as an untapped wonder drug for treating COVID-19, Dobbs said the science isn’t there, but that hasn’t stopped people from buying readily available versions intended to treat animals for worms.

“I’ve heard about one person who has been hospitalized with an ivermectin drug toxicity,” Dobbs said. “You wouldn’t get your chemotherapy at a feed store”

“Some people are trying to use it as a preventative, which is kind of crazy,” he said. “Normally, when we use ivermectin it’s a one-time dose.”

Dobbs said no one prevents a licensed physician from prescribing ivermectin in Mississippi.

“If a physician thinks it’s the right thing,” he said. “But don’t get it from a feedstore, please, please, please.

“(Ivermectin) should never be an ‘or’ but an ‘and’ … if you get it, please also get antibodies, we know that monoclonal antibodies work.”

“It’s really important, that people go through their providers,” he said.

The drug began gaining popularity — along with the online conspiracy theory that it was being withheld to further propagate the pandemic – months ago when a small research study initially suggested massive drops in COVID death rates but was later withdrawn after data manipulation was suspected.