Expert says don’t rely on Ivermectin to treat COVID-19

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:21 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A controversial drug is making headlines again after Green bay Quarterback Aaron Rogers endorsed it to treat COVID-19. In a clinical trial, the anti-parasitic pill Ivermectin was proven to not be an effective treatment.

When the pandemic first hit researchers began testing various drugs to try and find a treatment. Treatments for HIV, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Ivermectin were tested to see if they effectively treated COVID-19.

“Across the board, all of these repurposed drugs did not help COVID-19,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Avish Nagpal.

He said in one trial Ivermectin did look like an effective treatment, but the authors of the study recently retracted their findings.

“Turns out the data was questionable in the clinical trial so we can’t rely on that data anymore,” said Dr. Nagpal.

That didn’t stop athletes like Aaron Rogers and celebrities like Joe Rogan from continuing to promote it.

“Misinformation is also a pandemic that we are dealing with,” said Dr. Nagpal, “That I think is a bigger problem right now than actually compared to the pandemic. We have vaccines and treatments which can help most of the people if not all of them.”

Dr. Nagpal said if people rely on Ivermectin to help their COVID-19 symptoms, they could miss the window to get the treatment that works.

“They come to us and it’s too late for the monoclonal antibodies,” Dr. Nagpal explained.

A number of people responded to a VNL Facebook post writing they took the antiparasitic drug to treat their COVID-19 symptoms. One woman said after five days of taking the drug, her COVID-19 symptoms let up and she recovered.

Dr. Nagpal said people don’t need to rely on unproven drugs anymore.

“Being popular doesn’t always mean it works,” said Dr. Nagpal, “We have better drugs that have been shown to work.”

Ivermectin is used in humans to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice. Dr. Nagpal said any medication taken for an inappropriate reason has the potential to cause harm. He said Sanford Health advises its doctors to not prescribe it to their patients as a COVID-19 treatment.

People are also confusing Ivermectin with the animal form with the same name. One person told Valley News Live she hasn’t been able to get the treatment for her horses, as it’s been sold out at the feed store.

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