Mississippi poison control calls rise as anti-vaxxers take livestock dewormers to treat and prevent COVID-19

This image shows Ivermectin tablets in Tehatta West Benga on May 19, 2021. Photo by Soumyabrata Ray/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Ivermectin has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a COVID-19 therapy.

Humans are extremely sensitive to ivermectin from animal or livestock formulations.

Ivermectin can cause symptoms like rashes, vomiting and abdominal pain.

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A Friday alert was sent to Mississippi healthcare providers. It stated that there had been an increase in calls to the Poison Control Center from people who were potentially exposed to ivermectin, a drug used to treat roundworms.

The alert stated that ivermectin is safe for both humans and animals. However, at least 70% were due to the ingestion of anti-parasitic agents from livestock supply centres.

Ivermectin toxicities can cause rash, nausea and vomiting, as well as abdominal pain, neurological disorders, hepatitis, and stomach ulcers.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has published a list of approved drugs and treatment to prevent COVID-19. Ivermectin is not approved.

"One, animal drugs can be very concentrated as they are used for large animals such as horses and cows. These animals can weigh more than us - up to a ton. These high doses can prove to be toxic for humans," FDA stated in a consumer update. "Many inactive substances found in animal products have not been evaluated for human use. They are also found in greater quantities than the ones used in humans. We don't know how these inactive ingredients affect the absorption of ivermectin in the human body in some cases.

The March increase in calls to the Poison Center of Missouri was also due to ivermectin toxicemia. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Missouri and Mississippi have low vaccination rates - respectively 44% and 37% - compared with the rest of the nation.

According to the alert, no hospitalizations caused by ivermectin poisoning have been reported directly to the Mississippi Poison Control Center and the Mississippi State Department of Health.

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