FDA warns people not to take drug for parasitic worms to treat COVID-19

Coronavirus

CARBONDALE (KSNT) – People are using the deworming medicine ivermectin as a remedy for coronavirus and it’s causing problems.

The drug is commonly used for horses or cattle, and other farm animals. It passes parasitic worms through their system. The federal government has deemed it unsafe for humans. The idea that it can be used for coronavirus treatment started with rumors online.

Brenda Grimmett with B&C Equine Rescue in Carbondale uses this twice-yearly on her horses. She buys 24 bottles at a time. When people start stocking up for themselves, she’s limited.

“When I went to order it there was a limit of maybe six,” she said. “That’s when I learned people were using it for COVID. That kind of blew me away.”

Ivermectin suppliers have put out warnings against human use. It is not an anti-viral drug, thus the FDA has come out against using it for coronavirus as well.

Stores like Tractor Supply Company are also issuing their own warnings.

Kimberly Edwards works at a Tractor Supply Co. store in nearby Missouri, where ivermectin is becoming hard to find.

“About 75% of the people that come in to purchase ivermectin are using it to treat or prevent COVID,” Edwards said.

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