The New Mexico Dept of Health says it has had several reports of severe illness and one possible death associated with the use of products containing ivermectin, an (FDA)-approved prescription medication used to treat certain infections caused by internal and external parasites (mostly in farm animals) to treat COVID-19. The NMDOH is working with the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center to monitor cases of ivermectin toxicity among people who are attempting to treat COVID-19.
New Mexico Health Secretary David Scrase echoed the FDA this week in emphasizing the dangers of Ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. He said that New Mexico has already suffered one potential death and another serious injury as a result of people self-medicating with Ivermectin. As if the insanity couldn’t get any worse, the NMDOH now has to ask all health care providers to report ivermectin toxicity cases and all deaths related to ivermectin fall under the statutory requirement to report to the Office of the Medical Investigator.
Over the past year and a half during the pandemic, retail pharmacies dispensing ivermectin have increased, especially veterinary formulations available over the counter that are not intended for human use. This year alone, poison control centers across the U.S. have received a three-fold increase in the number of calls for human exposures to ivermectin compared to the pre-pandemic baseline.
Several politicians, like New Mexico’s GOP Rep. Yvette Herrell (and some of our readers), have pointed to studies done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It turns out that isn’t the best source to point to as proof that ivermectin can treat COVID, as the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel has now determined that there is currently insufficient data to recommend ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19. Herrell told KVIA-TV “it’s a blessing we have so many options.”
Veterinary formulations intended for use in large animals such as horses, sheep, and cattle (e.g., “sheep drench,” injection formulations, and “pour-on” products for cattle) can be highly concentrated and result in overdoses when used by humans. Animal products may also contain inactive ingredients that have not been evaluated for use in humans. People who overdose can experience toxic effects such as nerve damage, seizures, coma and death.
According to the NMDOH, clinical effects of ivermectin overdose include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Overdoses are associated with hypotension and neurologic effects such as decreased consciousness, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, coma, and death. Ivermectin may potentiate the effects of other drugs that cause central nervous system depression, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates.
So we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Please don’t take ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of an ivermectin overdose, call 911.
All suspected cases should also be reported to the Poison Control Center by calling 1-800-222-1222.