Tennessee bill would let people get ivermectin over-the-counter

Ivermectin tablets
Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 22:00:31-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A bill in the legislature would allow Tennesseans to purchase ivermectin over-the-counter to treat COVID-19.

State Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, said she believed ivermectin is a treatment option for COVID-19. However, her bill doesn't specify which dose would be given out at pharmacies if it becomes law.

"You can take it early in your illness, and you can recover and not take hospitalization," Lynn said. "But that way if you’re a person with COVID, you can go to the pharmacy, and the pharmacist will look at the drugs that you’re taking now, see if there’s any drug interactions, and let you purchase a list or pack of ivermectin."

Meanwhile, early data suggests Rep. Lynn is wrong.

Dr. Parul Goyal at Vanderbilt University Medical Center said their ivermectin study isn't even finished yet.

"It will be hard to tell until we have concrete data, and we analyze the ivermectin," Goyal said.

A study in Malaysia — that recently came out — noted that ivermectin didn't prevent severe disease. It was a random clinical trial for high-risk patients with the sickness.

Currently, ivermectin is prescribed to treat parasitic worms. It can also treat scabies when topical treatments don't work.

At the beginning of the pandemic, people were going to farm stores to buy ivermectin to treat their covid symptoms. Doctors warned against that because animal doses are different than human doses.

"It can cause much more side effects," Goyal said.

Dr. Goyal said their trial is still accepting patients locally for those who want to help improve science. To sign up you can call Vanderbilt at 615-343-8010.

"And if they do want to participate, then they should strongly consider it since the doses we are using are very safe, and they are going to be monitored," Goyal said.

Meanwhile, it's possible the data won't be complete by the time the bill becomes a law.

New Hampshire just passed a similar bill.