Dangers of Self-Treatment for COVID-19: Ivermectin Update

ivermectin self-treatment

After news of a rise in use of ivermection across the country and the conflicting information around its use, CompleteRx wanted to provide some information on drugs that are currently under FDA investigation for the treatment of COVID-19.

On September 1, 2021, ASHP reported outpatient prescribing for and dispensing of ivermectin has risen exponentially since before the pandemic. This increase is in direct relation to the use of Ivermectin (Stromectol) as a potential therapeutic option for COVID-19.

Ivermectin has been around for years and is used to treat patients with intestinal (i.e., non-disseminated) strongyloidiasis due to a parasite stronglyloides stercoralis or onchocerciasis due to a parsiste Onchocerca volvulus. More recently, high demand for these agents has, unfortunately, caused a concern by the medical staff and agencies.

Ivermectin is still under investigation by the FDA, and their prescribed doses and frequencies may vary and are typically much higher from other known indications. The AMA, ASHP, and NIH recommend against the use of ivermectin for patients for pre and post exposure to COVID-19 due to having no scientific basis or meaningful evidence for clinical activity. There is also a huge concern for potential adverse reaction when used to treat COVID-19 due to the prescribed higher dose than typically used. Additionally, there are numerous side effects that cause potential harm. Physicians need to monitor for potential neurologic, dermatologic, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal side effects upon initiation and closely thereafter. Besides potential side effects, patients may have potential drug interactions when receiving ivermectin.

CompleteRx does not advise self-treatment or self-medicating and the use of ivermectin for pre or post exposure to COVID-19. Please do not take treatment under your own hands and/or use alternative forms of these drugs to treat yourself. If you believe you have been exposed or have COVID-19, consult your physician or seek emergency care if you have shortness of breath.

by Julie Rubin, Pharm.D., Director of Clinical Services CompleteRx

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