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Utah poison control center sees five-fold increase in calls about Ivermectin

The livestock deworming medicine is not recommended for treatment of COVID-19 in the U.S.
Posted at 5:49 AM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 19:29:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Poison control in Utah is reporting an increase in calls about Ivermectin, a drug normally used to treat livestock, according to our news content sharing partners at the Salt Lake Tribune.

Ivermectin is a prescription medication used to treat infections caused by parasites in animals like cows, horses and sheep but many people have tried to use it lately as a treatment for COVID-19.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported, calls to poison control centers about the drug in Utah have increased “five-fold” according to medical toxicologist Dr. Michael Moss, medical director of the Utah Poison Control Center.

Dr. Moss said he believes the interest in using ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment came from very early research testing if the drug would stop the virus from infecting cells in a laboratory, and individuals “latched on to that early in the pandemic,” which further spread through social media.

The use of the drug to treat COVID-19 has not been approved by the FDA and overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased consciousness, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, comas and even death. The medication also may increase “the effects of other drugs that cause central nervous system depression such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates.”

To reach the Utah Poison Control Center anytime call 1-800-222-1222.

For more on this story, visit the Salt Lake Tribune.