Tampa health expert says Ivermectin is not a COVID-19 treatment

Coronavirus

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – A false COVID-19 treatment is trending across the United States. People are reportedly self-medicating for coronavirus with Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic medicine for livestock.

G5 Feed & Outdoor told 8 On Your Side they’ve received hundreds of phone calls about the product in the last two weeks.

”One lady said she was going to put it in her bathwater. Another guy was going to buy it for his dog. Then some people would say, are people buying this for COVID,” said owner Bill Glissen.

”You know we have it labeled for equine that’s in a paste form. We have one labeled for cattle.” Glissen said

The store took the product off of their shelves once they learned people were using it for themselves.

”There’s a warning on it that it’s only intended for its labeled use, so I think common sense would tell somebody there’s a risk factor that they’re inheriting,” Glissen said.

Dr. Alfred Aleguas, managing director of Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa, says there is an Ivermectin for humans but neither form is a proven treatment for COVID-19.

”It’s not going to be effective. It’s not intended to be effective. It won’t prevent or help you with your symptoms,” Dr. Aleguas said.

He also told 8 On Your Side that consuming it can cause some major issues.

”It’s not unusual to have some gastrointestinal symptoms: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. You can see some drops in your blood pressure, seizures, a coma. Deaths have been reported,” Dr. Aleguas said.

So far, Dr. Aleguas said there are more than 30 reports of exposure to the medicine across the state.

”If you have any questions or you’ve taken this and have questions or you’ve taken this and are having a bad effect, don’t hesitate to call the poison control center,” Dr. Aleguas said. Their number is 1-800-222-1222.

It’s also encouraged to speak with your physician before considering treatments for COVID-19.

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