BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — There is an uptick in the number of calls for Ivermectin to poison control centers across the nation including in the Central Valley.
The California Poison Control Center continues to warn people seeking other options to protect themselves from COVID to be wary of misinformation as it could be dangerous.
“Ivermectin helping people either avoid catching covid or if they have covid, none of that is true,” said Dr. Rais Vohra with the California Poison Control Center.
Vohra said before, the calls regarding Ivermectin were rare and mostly from children accidentally ingesting it, but that has now changed.
“In many times it is pretty benign, or people are calling to get information, and other times it is too late,” said Vohra.
There have not been any fatalities related to Ivermectin in California, but people have had to be hospitalized.
Those who take too much can get nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration, which Vohra said obviously does not set you up to fight a viral infection.
“But, even more seriously they can get nerve problems to where they have nerve tingling. Sometimes even tremors, sometimes even seizures, hallucinations, and coma,” said Vohra.
He said there is a form of this drug approved for humans that is used to treat parasites and skin conditions like rosacea but given you need a prescription for these, people are turning to the version approved for animals which is very different.
“While there is research being done about this, it is really not at the level where in the US we recommend ivermectin for COVID,” said Vohra.
Vohra added that many who are perfectly healthy and are taking it to prevent COVID will end up sick instead and will have done nothing to prevent COVID.
Meanwhile for those who do have COVID, taking it will give a false sense of safety and delay them from getting the care they really need.
“It is not worth taking this medication, leave the horse medication to the horses and take the human medication which is the vaccines,” said Vohra.
There are ongoing clinical trials for this drug as a COVID-19 treatment, but there is no real data to show it works. As of now US health agencies like the FDA and CDC said Ivermectin is not safe and does not work to treat COVID.