Health Canada: Ivermectin, a horse dewormer, does not treat COVID-19

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Health Canada: Ivermectin, a horse dewormer, does not treat COVID-19
Health Canada: Ivermectin, a horse dewormer, does not treat COVID-19

Federal health officials are urging Canadians not to buy or use veterinary ivermectin — a deworming treatment for animals — to prevent or treat COVID-19.

The warning from Health Canada, issued Tuesday, notes “concerning reports” that people are buying this drug due to “false and misleading claims” that it can fend off the virus.

“Canadians should never consume health products intended for animals because of the potential serious health dangers posed by them,” the warning says.

“The veterinary version of ivermectin, especially at high doses, can be dangerous for humans and may cause serious health problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, allergic reactions, dizziness, seizures, coma, and even death. Ivermectin products for animals have a higher concentrated dose than ivermectin products for people. The department is aware of multiple reports of patients in the U.S. who have required medical support and been hospitalized after using ivermectin intended for horses.”

While there is a version of ivermectin that can be used in humans, it is only authorized for the “treatment of parasitic worm infections” when prescribed by a doctor.

The department also notes there is no approved clinical trial to test the use of this medicine in this way. The health agency says anyone who has purchased ivermectin with plans to use it in an attempt to prevent or treat COVID-19 to immediately dispose of it.

The warning comes a week after a similar statement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“There’s a lot of misinformation around, and you may have heard that it’s okay to take large doses of ivermectin. That is wrong.”

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