The FDA has released a statement debunking the use of Ivermectin, a veterinary medication, as a treatment for COVID-19 infection. Nevertheless, stores in the state of Oklahoma report selling out of the product.
“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it,” the FDA tweeted over the weekend.
You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it. https://t.co/TWb75xYEY4
— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) August 21, 2021
Ivermectin is an anti-parasite medication typically used to treat worm infection in horses, cows, pigs and other livestock. Ingestion or injection of Ivermectin in humans could cause long-lasting damage to the body.
“Once the damage is done in these situations, you’re not coming back,” an FDA spokesperson told NBC News.
Nevertheless, NBC reports that twelve retailers in Oklahoma have reported selling out of the veterinary medicine, presumably because humans want to use it as a method of treating COVID-19.
“I was like, ‘So, you’re using the needles to inject yourself with the 1% sterile solution of ivermectin?'” Red Earth Feed and Tack store manager Alex Gieger told KOCO News he recalled asking a customer. “And he was like, ‘Yeah. It gets it done.’ And I was like, ‘OK. Well, this is an anti-parasitical, not an anti-viral. I highly suggest people stop injecting themselves with Ivermax and start injecting themselves with the vaccine because that’s free and that [Ivermectin] is $300.”
NBC also reports that the Oklahoma Poison Control Center has documented at least 10 poisonings with Ivermectin since May of this year. Symptoms can include dizziness, low blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat. In addition to Oklahoma, other states including Missouri, Kentucky and Mississippi all report a spike in Ivermectin sales.
Though its origins remain unclear, right-wing websites and Fox News began propagating the idea that Ivermectin could treat or prevent COVID-19–a claim in no way supported by science. Though this theory has been widely debunked, misinformation around the use of Ivermectin continues to circulate on social media. The use of Ivermectin also parallels that of hydroxychloroquine, an ineffective and potentially dangerous drug treatment for COVID promoted by Donald Trump last year.