Kelowna residents trying to buy horse medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19

Local run on Ivermectin

A potentially dangerous home remedy for COVID-19, driven by pundits in the U.S., is picking up steam in the B.C. Interior.

Feed stores are being inundated with calls from people trying to buy Ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

Ivermectin that is sold at most feed stores is meant to treat horses for worms and other parasites and comes in doses meant for horses, not humans.

Buckerfield's in West Kelowna told Castanet Monday they have to keep it behind the counter, and only sell to people they know have livestock.

Diamond H Tack on Kirschner Road in Kelowna said they only sell to customers who have a veterinary account. It has also been getting calls for quite some time from people thinking they can use the drug to treat COVID.

Ivermectin is used in humans mostly for treating rare tropical diseases in developing countries.

Lately, though, it’s become a darling of the right-wing on social media, who tout it as a treatment and preventative measure against COVID-19.

That has forced the company that makes it, Merck, to issue a statement saying while its scientists continue to carefully examine the findings of all available and emerging studies, its analysis finds no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic use against COVID-19, no meaningful evidence of clinical efficacy in patients with the illness, and a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved Ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control lists a number of treatments for severely ill patients, but says Ivermectin is not one of them. Clinical studies are underway, but they have not been able to prove it combats the virus,

Poison control centres in Texas saw a sharp increase in calls in July from people who ingested the horse medication.

The FDA notes you can overdose on ivermectin. It can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma and even death.

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