Don’t use animal parasitic worm drug for COVID-19
- Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic agent in the form of tablets, paste, oral solution, solution for injection, medicinal premix, or topical.
- Health Canada issued a statement to its citizens stating that if this medicine was purchased for this purpose it should be disposed of immediately.
- If this product has been used and there are health concerns, a doctor should be consulted.
The fact that humans resort to veterinary drugs or alternative methods is nothing new in terms of health. The head of the Indian Medical Association had to warn Indian citizens not to cover themselves with a mixture of cow dung and urine as a cure for the coronavirus.
Health Canada received reports of the use of the veterinary drug ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19. Canadians should never consume animal health products because of the potential serious health hazards they pose.
With this in mind, Health Canada advises Canadians not to use either the veterinary or human drug version of ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19. There is no evidence that ivermectin is safe or effective in either formulation when used for these purposes. The human version of ivermectin is only approved for sale in Canada for the treatment of parasitic worm infections in humans.
The veterinary version of ivermectin, especially in high doses, can be dangerous to humans and cause serious health problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, allergic reactions, dizziness, seizures, coma, and even death. Ivermectin products for animals have a higher concentrated dose than ivermectin products for humans. The department is aware of several reports from patients in the United States who needed medical attention and were hospitalized after using ivermectin for horses.
Health Canada is closely monitoring all potential therapeutic treatments for COVID-19, including treatments that are being investigated in international clinical trials. To date, Health Canada has not received any drug submission or clinical trial application for ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
For drugs that have the potential to help treat COVID-19, Health Canada is encouraging drug manufacturers to conduct clinical trials. This would provide an opportunity for health care providers to gather information about the effectiveness of treatment and the risks involved.
Should a manufacturer submit an application to Health Canada regarding the use of ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19, Health Canada would conduct a scientific evaluation of the evidence to determine the quality, safety and effectiveness of the drug.
Health Canada will continue to monitor the situation and take reasonable and timely action if any new information becomes available, including information about the illegal advertising or sale of ivermectin. Health Canada will also release any new safety information to health professionals and consumers.
Health Canada has previously warned Canadians about products that make false and misleading claims about the treatment or cure for COVID-19. For information on Health Canada approved vaccines and treatments, visit Canada.ca.
Ivermectin, a prescription medicine, is approved for sale in Canada for the treatment of parasitic worm infections in humans, particularly intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, and should only be used for this purpose under the supervision of a healthcare professional. A veterinary version of this drug is available for the treatment of parasitic infections in animals. People should never use the veterinary version of this product.
What Consumers Should Do
If ivermectin was purchased to prevent or treat COVID-19, stop using it and throw it away. Follow your municipal or regional guidelines for the disposal of chemicals and other hazardous waste and return the product to the point of sale for proper disposal.
Contact a doctor if ivermectin has been used and there are health concerns. Report all side effects of this product directly to Health Canada. File a complaint with Health Canada if information about the illegal advertising or sale of ivermectin or other health products is discovered using the online complaint form.