Tennessee Poison Center sees increase in people using anti-parasitic drug to treat COVID-19

In a week, they’ve had a dozen call with severe symptoms.
ivermectin sign
Posted at 6:28 AM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 07:55:26-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Health experts continue to warn people not to take anti-parasitic drug, Ivermectin, to treat COVID-19.

It's commonly used as a de-wormer in horses and livestock.

The Tennessee Poison Center is seeing a dramatic increase in calls about the drug. In a single week, officials said they’ve had a dozen people call in after taking the drug.

All are experiencing varying but severe symptoms.

“It can cause GI upset, it can cause neurological symptoms, too. We’ve been seeing people who have been having altered mental states because of this come in, so this can be a serious ingestion,” said Tennessee Poison Center Director Dr. Rebecca Bruccoleri.

The FDA and the CDC have previously stated the drug should not be used to treat the virus, and that current data does not show it is effective against COVID-19.

If you ever need assistance from the Tennessee Poison Center, their hotline is 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222.