U.S. poison control centers have seen a recent increase in the amount of ivermectin exposures in humans.
What is ivermectin used for?
Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug.
In humans, ivermectin tablets are approved by the FDA to treat several conditions caused by parasitic worms, and topical forms are approved to treat conditions like head lice and rosacea.
Ivermectin is commonly used in animals to treat or prevent parasites. Animal medications are often highly concentrated and may contain inactive ingredients that can be very toxic in humans.
What are the side effects of ivermectin?
Ivermectin is usually tolerated well when used as prescribed for approved indications by a physician. Adverse effects can occur when the individual is also taking other medications.
Intentional ivermectin overdoses or poisonings can cause serious symptoms.
Mild ivermectin toxicity in humans can cause a rash, headache, dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and mild tachycardia.
More severe toxicity in humans can cause seizures, coma, metabolic acidosis, respiratory failure, and low blood pressure.
What is recommended?
Currently, ivermectin is not approved by the FDA to treat or prevent COVID-19. Studies regarding its efficacy for COVID-19 have reached contradictory conclusions and further studies are warranted.
The Georgia Poison Center does not advocate for or against the use of ivermectin for COVID-19. We recommend that individuals consult with their physician or provider if considering to self-treat COVID-19 with ivermectin.
If you have further questions about ivermectin or any other medication, please contact us at 1-800-222-1222 for advice.