PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – Five people have been hospitalized after taking ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19, according to the Oregon Poison Center at Oregon Health and Science University.

The Oregon Poison Center said from Aug. 1 to Sept. 14, there have been 25 cases of people intentionally using ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19. Two of the five hospitalized required intensive care.

“COVID-19 is a devastating disease and can be very frightening, but the public does not need to use - nor should it use - unproven and potentially dangerous drugs to fight it,” said Robert Hendrickson, medical director of the Oregon Poison Center at Oregon Health & Science University and professor of emergency medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine. 

The patients using ivermectin were in their 20s through 80s, with most older than 60. The cases were evenly split between men and women and between people attempting to either prevent or treat COVID-19. OHSU said some patients had obtained a prescription for either human or veterinary forms of the drug.

“Neither the FDA nor the National Institutes of Health have endorsed its use for COVID-19, and OHSU doesn’t recommend any use of ivermectin for COVID-19. Initial lab research indicated ivermectin might be able to treat COVID-19, but when tested in human trials, ivermectin did not decrease symptoms or cure the disease.”

According to the FDA website, ivermectin tablets are approved to treat patients with intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis two conditions caused by parasitic worms. In addition, some topical forms of ivermectin are approved to treat external parasites like head lice and for skin conditions such as rosacea.

Dr. Robert Hendrickson says the Poison Center has managed three times more cases of people misusing the anti-parasitic drug in the month of August.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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