Using anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 dangerous â DOH, FDA
This April 11, 2020 photo shows personnel preparing beds at the quarantine facility in the Philippine International Convention Center.
The STAR/Edd Gumban

Using anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 dangerous — DOH, FDA

(Philstar.com) - March 17, 2021 - 1:16pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that people should not use Ivermectin, a drug typically used to treat parasites, as a treatment for COVID-19.

“Ivermectin is NOT APPROVED by the FDA for treatment of any viral infection,” the announcement read.

In an advisory, the regulatory agency said Ivermectin products in the country for human use are in topical formulations under prescription use only. The drug is used for treatment of external parasites such as head lice and rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in the face.

Meanwhile, registered veterinary products are only approved for use for the prevention of heartworm disease and treatment of internal and external parasites in certain animal species.

The FDA said that using animal drugs like Ivermectin in humans can cause serious harm as these are “often highly concentrated and can be highly toxic to humans.”

“Any use of Ivermectin veterinary products for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 should be avoided as the benefits and safety for this purpose has not been established,” it said, adding that clinical trials are needed to determine whether the drug is safe and effective in treat or preventing COVID-19.

Although mandated to regulate the use and sale of medical products, the FDA has failed to hold anybody to account for the unauthorized use of smuggled Sinopharm vaccines by the president's security detail last year, an incident that experts said could set a bad precedent.

The Palace as well as President Rodrigo Duterte excused the illegal vaccination while Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that it was justified.

The DOH earlier issued a warning to doctors who will prescribe the drug as remedy for COVID-19.

Doctors and researchers around the world have been using off-label drugs or those meant for other illnesses to treat COVID-19 patients.

To date, COVID-19 has infected over 31,000 people, including 12,848 deaths. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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