Doctors warn against taking horse medicine ivermectin for COVID-19

Coronavirus

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — It’s a piece of COVID misinformation gone viral. Ivermectin is a drug commonly used to treat horses … and now some are taking it in an attempt to treat COVID-19. Veterinarians say they give ivermectin to horses to kill parasites. The FDA says there’s no evidence it treats or prevents COVID-19, but that’s not stopping some people from putting their health at risk by taking the drug.

One Bakersfield farm supply store says sales of the horse drug are up 70 percent. Ivermectin has been around since the 1970s. It comes in different forms for humans and animals. Veterinarians are most familiar with the drug and they say human can be extremely dangerous, especially if you take the version meant for horses.

“There’s a danger of overdosing on it, you could destroy your liver,” said Dr. Bryan Jenson, a local veterinarian. “There are a host of other problems. There can be neurological problems. There can be vomiting or digestive problems.”

Popular podcast host and UFC commentator Joe Rogan says he took ivermectin after catching the coronavirus. This comes as the FDA warns people not to take the drug, tweeting, “you are not a horse, you are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

Doctors say the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.
If you want to make an appointment, you can visit the state’s website myturn.ca.gov.

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