THE ESTIMATED NUMBER OF OUTPATIENT IVERMECTIN PRESCRIPTIONS DISPENSED FROM U.S. RETAIL PHARMACIES FROM MARCH 2019 TO AUGUST 2021. (CDC/IQVIA NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION AUDIT WEEKLY DATABASE)

By Elizabeth Cooney

Last month, U.S. poison control centers fielded five times the pre-pandemic number of calls about ivermectin, the antiparasitic that’s been touted to fight Covid-19 despite zero evidence that it works.  The calls align with a recent spike in outpatient ivermectin prescriptions dispensed from retail pharmacies, which climbed to more than 88,000 in the week ending Aug. 13 — a 24-fold increase from before the pandemic.The medicine — which some people got via over-the-counter veterinary formulations — has serious side effects, landing people in hospital emergency rooms. Some people have been ingesting creams or lotions meant for animals. Two examples from the CDC’s warning yesterday:One man drank an injection intended for cattle. He ended up with confusion, drowsiness, visual hallucinations, abnormally rapid breathing, tremors, and a nine-day hospital stay. One person, later hospitalized, was disoriented and had trouble answering questions and following commands after swallowing five days of tablets bought on the internet.

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