The general public is using ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19.
Ivermectin is a broad spectrum anti-parasitic agent that is FDA approved to treat the tissue microfilariae of Onchocerca volvulus and the intestinal stage of Strongyloides stercolis, but also used to treat scabies, pediculosis, gnathostomiasis, myiasis and leishmaniasis and other parasitic diseases (1,2) It binds selectively to the high affinity glutamate-gated chloride ion channels of invertebrate muscle cells. The influx of the chloride causes hyperpolarization of the nerve and muscle cell, leading to paralysis of the invertebrate.
In humans, ivermectin acts as an agonist on the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor, causing an in influx of chloride and hyperpolarization as well. Predictable toxic effects are sedation, ataxia, respiratory failure, hypotension, coma and death. Paradoxically, seizures have been reported. Because there is some protection from ivermectin toxicity from the p-glycoprotein system in the blood brain barrier, any genetic variation or co-ingestion of substances that inhibit or active the p-glycoprotein system, may cause greater or less clinical effects.
Because there are insufficient studies on the safety and effectiveness of ivermectin in the treatment of COVD-19, the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology recommends against the routine use of ivermectin for this reason. If more data becomes available in the future, it could be a viable option in the treatment of COVID-19. Please contact us if you have any further questions. (link) If you need immediate answers or have concerns about toxicity you can call your poison control center at 1-800 222-1222.
- Stromectol (Ivermectin). Package insert. Merck Pharmaceuticals Inc; 2009
- Batiha G, Alqahanti A, Ilesanmi O, Saati A et al. Avermectin Derivatives, Pharmacokinetics, Therapeutic and Toxic Dosages, Mechanism of Action, and Their Biological Effects. Pharmaceuticals 2020; 13:196
Save the Ivermectin for me!
Sincerely, Eclipse the Goat