A bizarre warning has been issued to Covid-19 patients after some of them turned to a horse dewormer as a makeshift treatment at home that has no scientific value.
Doctors are concerned over people using horse deworming drug Ivermectin following a number requiring urgent treatment due to overdosing in the US.
Dr Jason McElyea has issued the warning after the number of overdoses from using the drug has added further strain on emergency units in Oklahoma.
Although the medication can be used to treat certain human conditions in small doses, Ivermectin has not been approved to treat Covid.
He told the BBC that the medication is on prescription ‘for a reason – because it can be dangerous’.
While speaking to the local broadcaster KFOR earlier this week, Dr McElyea said: ‘The [emergency rooms] are so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting to facilities where they can get definitive care and be treated.’
The drug has been controversially promoted as a way of treating or promoting Covid by notable figures including podcast host Joe Rogan, who said he was taking Ivermectin after testing positive for Covid-19.
In a video on Instagram, Rogan said: ‘We immediately threw the kitchen sink at it: all kinds of meds. Monoclonal antibodies, Ivermectin, Z-pack, prednisone – everything’ before later revealing he now feels great.
While working in Oklahoma, Dr McElyea has witnessed patients who had been taking the drug arriving at hospital with symptoms such as vomiting, muscle aches, and some suffered vision loss.
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Dr McElyea has said that the symptoms from taking Ivermectin have put some patients in a worse position than if they had actually caught Covid.
Speaking to KFOR,: He said: ‘You have to ask yourself, 'If I take this medicine, what am I going to do if something bad happens?' What's your next step, what's your back-up plan? If you're going to take a medicine that could affect your health, do it with a doctor on board.’
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