While there are human uses for the drug, the US Food and Drug Administration has not approved ivermectin to treat or prevent Covid-19 in humans and the drug is not an anti-viral medication.
“There are approved uses for ivermectin in both people and animals. Patients should be advised to not take any medications intended to treat animals and should be instructed to only take ivermectin as prescribed by their physician,” the Mississippi State Department of Health alert said. “Animal drugs are highly concentrated for large animals and can be highly toxic in humans. Some of the symptoms associated with ivermectin toxicity include rash, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, neurologic disorders, and potentially severe hepatitis requiring hospitalization.”
According to the alert, 85% of the callers had mild symptoms, but one person was instructed to seek further evaluation due to the amount of ivermectin they told poison control they had taken.
The US Food & Drug Administration tweeted on Saturday: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”
Mississippi has been grappling with a surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.
On Friday, state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs issued a statewide order requiring residents diagnosed with Covid-19 to “immediately home-isolate on first knowledge of infection” for 10 days from onset of illness or the date of a positive test for those who are asymptomatic.