Local veterinarian warns against use of livestock drug for COVID-19

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — A new method of treating COVID-19 is popping up all over the country, and health professionals say it is doing more harm than good.

Some southern states are seeing an influx of calls to poison control centers for Ivermectin overdoses after attempting to treat COVID-19 symptoms. But what is Ivermectin?

“Ivermectin is a livestock de-wormer. It is also available for dogs and cats as a heartworm preventative in much lower doses,” said Veterinarian, Dr. Linda Oleksuk.

The use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 is a fairly new idea, only showing up the last couple months in states like Texas, Mississippi, and Missouri. Dr. Oleksuk said even when used in animals, this drug must filter through the animal before it is safe to ingest.

“If you use it in a food producing animal, which is often what it’s used for, cattle and pig, there’s a certain amount of time that you have to wait before you can either drink the milk from or eat the meat from an animal that’s been treated with Ivermectin and that should tell you something about its safety,” said Dr. Oleksuk.

Ivermectin is used in some human medications to fight things like rosacea, but is not approved for COVID-19 treatment. Dr. Oleksuk said it is doing more harm than good.

“The overdoses tend to be about the same from what I’ve read in people as in animals. Vomiting and diarrhea are your less severe overdoses but it can cause dizziness, seizures, coma and death,” said Dr. Oleksuk.

Dr. Oleksuk said if you are considering using this drug to treat COVID-19 symptoms or in place of a vaccine. do not. Instead, consult your doctor on other options.

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