CHICAGO - There are renewed warnings from doctors against taking Ivermectin for COVID-19.
The American Medical Association has now called for the "immediate end" of using Ivermectin to treat COVID patients.
Enough people are taking the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin to treat COVID that the FDA, the AMA and several other medical associations are issuing louder warnings against it. The main reason: doctors say it's designed to treat parasites in animals, not viruses in humans, and can be dangerous, even deadly for humans.
"It's been used to treat parasitic infections," said Dr. June McKoy with Northwestern Medicine. "Things like tapeworm, hookworm, threadworm...you'll see those a lot in third world countries, but it's not approved for viral infections."
Still, Ivermectin continues to be a drug-of-choice for COVID patients.
"People are desperate. I know it seems really strange to us, hearing these stories, but people are desperate," said McKoy.
This week, Spotify's top podcaster, Joe Rogan, announced on Instagram he is feeling better after taking Ivermectin along with several other drugs, after he tested positive earlier this week.
"We immediately threw the kitchen sink at it," Rogan said in an Instagram post. "All kinds of meds: monoclonal antibodies, Ivermectin, z-pack, prednisone, everything."
McKoy says the only time Ivermectin is ever appropriate for human use is for parasitic infections, not viruses and anyone who experiments with Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID is rolling the dice. "They can actually have seizures, they can become disoriented, have hallucinations, people have gone into coma, people have died. It is not a drug to be taken lightly."
The Illinois Poison Center says so far this year, it's received seven calls for people having taken Ivermectin for COVID. Six of those calls happened during the month of August.