Health officials warn against ivermectin use for COVID-19

Shelia Stockers, a nurse and volunteer with the medical reserve corps, fills a syringe with a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination at the Tamina Community Park in January.
Gustavo Huerta, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

State health officials are warning residents not to take ivermectin to treat COVID-19 after those exposed to it increased 150 percent between July and August.

According to information from the Texas Department of State Health Services, ivermectin can not treat a viral illness such as COVID-19. Ivermectin is approved to treat some parasites and skin conditions and should only be used as prescribed by a doctor.

The Federal Drug Administration has not approved ivermectin for use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans.

“Ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses for some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea. Ivermectin is not an anti-viral (a drug for treating viruses),” FDA officials said in a release. “Taking large doses of this drug is dangerous and can cause serious harm.”

The FDA also cautioned that ivermectin products for animals and human are different.

“Animal drugs are often highly concentrated because they are used for large animals like horses and cows, which can weigh a lot more than we do — a ton or more. Such high doses can be highly toxic in humans,” FDA officials stated.

Anyone with questions about exposure can call their healthcare provider or the Texas Poison Center Network at 800-222-1222.

The Montgomery County Public Health District confirmed an increase of 959 active cases Friday, bringing the county’s total to 10,693. The number of active cases among children younger than 11 is now 1,327.

County health officials also confirmed two additional COVID-related deaths, boosting the total to 371. The deaths include a Porter man in his 40s and a Porter woman in her 60s. Both had other health conditions when they died in the hospital and neither patient was vaccinated.

Total hospitalizations dropped by 23 to 372 with 98 of those patients in critical care beds.

Anyone with questions about the state funded infusion center in The Woodlands or other COVID-19 related questions can call the county’s COVID-19 call center at 936-523-3916.

Written by Catherine Dominguez

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