Sunday, August 29, 2021

Advice on Ivermectin

I've seen a lot of talk about the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin recently.  Specifically, about people taking veterinary formulations instead of those approved for human use.  Generally, these are folks who either have active cases of COVID-19 or, a small percentage of the time, folks who are worried about catching it, but don't want to get vaccinated.

So I did a little digging around, and lo and behold, Ivermectin isn't some drug no one has ever heard of.  Heck, the guy whose research team discovered it won a Nobel Prize, for discovering Ivermectin!  Here's his Nobel speech:

Wikipedia notes that it's on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, is FDA-approved as an anti-parasitic, and was prescribed more than 100,000 times in the US in 2018.  And it's effective against a lot of different illnesses, most of which Americans will be lucky to never encounter unless they visit tropical developing countries.

So it's generally well-regarded, but medical studies to see if it's effective against COVID-19 have had less persuasive results than, for example, studies to see if the anti-despressant Fluvoxamine is effective against COVID-19.  Nevertheless, folks who are wary of the COVID-19 vaccines out there are willing to give it a shot, even in forms that are clearly not intended for human use.

The FDA recently tweeted "You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously y'all. Stop it."  I would suggest listening to the FDA.

What many people may not realize is that in late October of 2020, while we were all distracted by pre-election presidential antics during a pandemic, the FDA quietly granted over-the-counter approval to an Ivermectin formulation designed for human use, which had previously required a prescription.  Arbor Pharmaceuticals "Sklice" is an 0.5% Ivermectin formulation that is applied to the head and hair, and it can be expected to be every bit as effective against COVID-19 as veterinary formulations taken internally.*

So please, if you must use Ivermectin, use a product approved for human use, and follow the instructions on the packaging, just like you would with any other over-the-counter medication.  There's no point making yourself sick in an attempt to become, or stay, healthy.

Good luck!

* Like veterinary formulations taken internally, a human formulation applied topically must not be expected to have any beneficial effects at all against COVID-19 infection.  But it should ensure that whether you live or die, you won't suffer from head lice, so there's that.

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