Ivermectin: Why are people taking an anti-parasite drug for horses to treat COVID?

Protesters gather across the street from the Hamilton County Public Health building in Cincinnati's Corryville neighborhood on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. This protester has a sign backing ivermectin, a drug used to treat or prevent parasites in animals and some tropical diseases in humans. It is not approved by the FDA for use in humans against COVID-19. Photo by Phil Didion via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Ivermectin is a drug primarily used to treat parasites, especially in livestock. But some prominent conservative media figures have been touting it as the pandemic’s next miracle drug, like podcaster Joe Rogan, who recently tested positive.

But there’s no scientific evidence that ivermectin has any benefit when it comes to treating COVID. Some emergency rooms are treating people for ingesting the drug at dangerous levels. How did this particular drug become a thing — the new hydroxychloroquine?

Credits

Guest:

  • Dr. Sunil Parikh - professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at the Yale School of Public Health