American Medical Association calls for 'immediate end' to ivermectin use in Covid treatment

  • The American Medical Association highlighted that calls to poison control centres due to ivermectin ingestion have increased five-fold from their pre-pandemic baseline.
The US Food and Drug Administration warned Americans against taking ivermectin as a treatment or prevention for Covid-19.(Bloomberg)
The US Food and Drug Administration warned Americans against taking ivermectin as a treatment or prevention for Covid-19.(Bloomberg)
Published on Sep 02, 2021 09:21 PM IST
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By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The American Medical Association (AMA) has called for an “immediate end” to the use of ivermectin to treat coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of ivermectin for humans to treat infections caused by internal and external parasites and not for Covid-19. The AMA said in a statement that they are alarmed by the reports of exponential increase in prescribing and dispensing of the drug in the past few months.

A recent study found that ivermectin dispensing from outpatient retail pharmacies in the United States shot up to 39,000 prescriptions in the week ending January 8, 2021, as against an average of 3,600 prescriptions per week in the pre-pandemic period. The AMA highlighted that calls to poison control centres due to ivermectin ingestion have increased five-fold from their pre-pandemic baseline.

“As such, we are calling for an immediate end to the prescribing, dispensing, and use of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 outside of a clinical trial,” the association said, urging physicians and pharmacists to warn patients against its use outside of FDA-guidance.

Also Read | ‘Lower mortality...’: Goa govt defends Ivermectin’s efficacy against Covid-19

The US drug regulator recently clarified that they haven’t reviewed the data to support the use of ivermectin in Covid-19 patients, though some initial research is underway. Referring to the misinformation around the use of ivermectin in Covid-19 patients, the FDA warned that any drug for an unapproved use can be very dangerous.

“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,” the regulator said, adding that patients can also overdose on the drug which can nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, hypotension, allergic reactions, dizziness, seizures, coma and even death.

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