Veterinarian professor warns of ivermectin as COVID drug


Western College of Veterinary Medicine Associate Dean Says Risk of Overdose Is High When Using Livestock Medication

Animal doses of ivermectin should not be used to treat or ward off COVID-19, says Chris Clark, professor of animal science at the University of Saskatchewan.

Clark, who is also associate dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, said the advice is supported by a recent review of the literature by the Cochrane Library, a group of doctors around the world who are reviewing multiple publications and trying to find consensus. .

“They could only find 14 studies that were of value,” he said.

The review concluded: “Based on the current very low to low certainty evidence, we are uncertain about the efficacy and safety of ivermectin used to treat or prevent COVID-19. The completed studies are small and few are considered to be of high quality… Overall, the available reliable evidence does not support the use of ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 outside of trials well-designed randomized.

A published study has been withdrawn.

Neither Health Canada nor the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID.

The FDA recently tweeted, “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously all of you. Stop that.”

Clark said ivermectin is used in cattle to treat intestinal roundworms and parasites.

In humans, it is used to treat parasites and certain skin conditions.

At the start of the pandemic, some trials were using it as a COVID treatment. Clark describes them as “very bad ordeals.”

People who take the animal version of the medicine do so at great risk. The risk of overdose is extremely high since the doses have been developed for animals weighing 500 kilograms or more.

Even among species, the formulations differ. There are equine and bovine types. And for cattle, there are oral, injectable and pour-over formulations.

“I have a doctorate in pharmacology and I will never consider using a product for one species over another. Even with all of my knowledge, I can’t predict what’s going to happen, ”Clark said.

He said he understands people are frustrated with COVID and want a solution, but that’s not it.

The Cochrane Library review noted that 31 studies are ongoing and more information may come to light.

For now, Clark has said people should listen to their doctors and read labels. Veterinary drugs will say no for human use and do not say ivermectin can be used for corona viruses.

“You have to read the label and trust it more than what you see on Facebook or Twitter,” he said.

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