A wave of false information promoting the anthelmintic ivermectin as a treatment for covid seems to be showing no signs of diminishing, a surge in drug calls to poison control centers, and New Mexico officials say at least two drug misuses. He says he contributed to his death.
Federal health officials have repeatedly warned Covid patients not to take the drug, which is the most commonly used antiparasitic drug in livestock in the United States, to treat head lice in people in small doses. However, these warnings have helped reduce the popularity of drugs in parts of the United States.
By September 20, this year, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 1,440 cases of ivermectin poisoning. This is more than three times that of the same period in 2019 and 2020. Most of this year’s report came in the summer when people asked for a prescription. After false claims about drug efficacy in Covid patients began to spread on social media, podcasts, and talk radio. Both podcasting giant Joe Rogan and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones are promoting the drug.
States across the country have reported an astonishing number of phone calls to poison control centers about drugs. Mississippi health officials reported last month that 70% of recent calls were related to ivermectin. In Oregon, 25 people reported ivermectin poisoning between August 1st and September 14th. Reported by Oregon Health & Science University. Five people were hospitalized, including two who were admitted to the intensive care unit.
Calls for the drug are also skyrocketing at the New Mexico Poison Control Center. It was compared with 24 cases since November 2020 and 2 cases from January to November 2019. Of this year’s cases, 14 were hospitalized after taking the drug, and two died, the state reported Wednesday.
The two dead (38 and 79 years old) had Covid-19 and were taking ivermectin instead of proven treatments such as monoclonal antibodies, said David, the State Health Department’s deputy director. Dr. R. Scrase said. He said the drug contributed to both deaths and caused renal failure in one of the patients.
In an interview on Saturday, Dr. Scrase said treating Covid with ivermectin is like taking an antacid for a heart attack. “It’s the wrong medicine for something really serious,” he said.
Dr. Susan Smolinsuke, director of the New Mexico Poisoning and Drug Information Center, said that about half of the cases of ivermectin poisoning reported this year were people who took drugs to prevent covid.
Certain versions of ivermectin are prescribed to treat head lice and other parasites in people, while other formulations provided in the form of liquids and pastes are horses to fight worms and parasites. And commonly used in the livestock industry.
Over the past few years, many incidents in New Mexico have included children accidentally taking chewable tablets for dogs, but recently poison centers have taken concentrated forms of medicine for large animals. He said that the number of people doing this is increasing.
Dr. Susan Smolinsuke, director of the New Mexico Center for Toxicology and Drug Information, said:
Dr. Smolinsuke said misuse of the drug can cause drowsiness, dizziness, tremors, and even coma. “It gets into the brain, and if you take a high enough dose, it’s hard to get out of the brain,” she said.