Two experts warned the public on Tuesday of the possible adverse effects of taking ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug reportedly effective in treating COVID-19.
According to infectious disease expert Dr. Edsel Salvana, a high dose of ivermectin result in brain damage, or worse, death.
“‘Yung sinasabi po na gamitin para sa virus na wala naman talagang ebidensya sa ngayon, mataas po ‘yung dose kasi they use 15 milligrams tapos repeated dosing po,” he said in a Palace briefing.
(What is being claimed as a virus treatment, which lacks evidence at present, is a high dosage of 15 milligrams and repeated dosing.)
“Sa ganyang mataas na dose po, pwede pong magkaroon ng brain damage ang isang tao at pwedeng mamatay kung ma-overdose nang todo todo assuming po na tama ‘yung gamot na nakuha nila,” he added.
(At such a high dosage, it is possible to get brain damage or die from overdosing, assuming they are using the right medicine.)
Experts warn ivermectin can cause organ damage, even death
Salvana said he only advises ivermectin for individuals struggling with worms since the drug was designed for the purpose.
Meanwhile, another infectious expert Dr. Rontgene Solante said there were still no extensive studies on the safety and efficacy of ivermectin in treating COVID-19 patients.
“We don’t recommend these drugs for patients with COVID. Merong mga (It has) detrimental effects ‘yan, side effects na hindi pa natin alam (that we don’t know yet) that can also damage your liver or kidneys,” he said.
“‘Wag nating i-alinlangan ang buhay natin just because of a drug na we believe na merong effect na until now hindi pa natin nakikita sa mga clinical trial,” Solante urged.
(Let’s not risk our lives just because of a drug that we believe will have an effect that, until now, has not been proven in clinical trials.)
Meanwhile, Food and Drug Administration Director-General Eric Domingo said Tuesday that the use of human-grade ivermectin drugs is legal if prescribed by a doctor and compounded by a licensed pharmacy.
Domingo said there is a “legal way” to distribute the human-grade ivermectin in the country. However, the FDA has only approved ivermectin for animal use for now.