What happens when your prescription drug becomes the center of covid misinformation

Friedman said that he had to adapt his communication style to talk to patients when he needed to prescribe hydroxychloroquine. I have now integrated my scripting: Hey! I want to get you started on this medicine. It was rumored that covid was being used to treat AIDS. However, it is not. There was a lot of negative media coverage about it. It has been used for many years in dermatology for different purposes.
I visited r/Rosacea to get advice about managing the chronic condition.

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Ivermectin is known by people suffering from rosacea as a well-proven treatment. It can also be used to treat rosacea bumps. One user on the subreddit was puzzled by the sudden surge in attention and asked: Why is ivermectin memes appearing everywhere now? How does the mainstream find out what it is?

Ivermectin has been a topic of constant discussion on the subreddit. Soolantra, a costly topical cream that contains the drug is available. A generic version of Soolantra was also released in this summer. A subset of these users knew that the drug was also in horse paste. This is because some people with rosacea have purchased the veterinary version, often because they cannot afford prescriptions or are unable to access the creams.

People with rosacea are not happy with this practice. Dermatologists have expressed concerns about the use of untested or insufficiently prescribed ingredients that could cause adverse reactions. Feinstein states that a person suffering from rosacea who uses horse paste to treat covid is in a completely different ethical and medical world to the one in which they are using horse paste. Feinstein states that ivermectin is the best treatment for patients with rosacea.

Feinstein says that people who apply Soolantra topically or the generic version ivermectin are unlikely to face shortages at this time. However, there are reports that farm supply stores are running out of horse paste. While reporting this story, I also had to deal with practical access issues. However, one individual who needed to buy horse paste from the UK to treat his pet rats with mites a few week ago was subject to additional scrutiny and stigma. How can you explain that horse paste is used on you, but not for your pet rats?

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Moderators of subreddits were already familiar with misinformation regarding ivermectin.

"We've seen some crazy things, such as people recommending flea collars and pesticides for their faces." Ryan, moderator of the r/rosacea forum

The site is used by many people to exchange information and discuss their experiences. This includes discussing how they have been treating their skin, how to prevent flare-ups, what to do if one occurs, and how long it has been going. They can also propagate misinformation and incubate it, which moderators must monitor and eliminate.

There are many Facebook groups that advocate horse paste for rosacea sufferers, but the r/Rosacea forum does not encourage or ban its use. According to one moderator, the greatest risk is that people will self diagnose rosacea and attempt to treat it themselves using a homemade version of the medication. This should be done only under the supervision of a doctor.

However, not all rosea are the same. Scientific debate continues about why ivermectin may work for certain people.

Rosacea is often linked to demodex mites. They live in the hair shafts of more than half of all people. These mites can be found in excess in anyone suffering from rosacea. The exact relationship between the mites and rosacea is not clear. Friedman suggests that the question is whether chicken or eggs are involved. Is it possible for demodex mites in overgrowth to thrive in rosacea sufferers?

Ryan, a Reddit moderator, stated that this uncertainty has resulted in some very dangerous suggestions online. He asked me to withhold his lastname.

He said that people become attached to the idea that killing mites will eliminate their rosacea. Some people even recommend wearing flea collars and using pesticides on their faces.

Data voids and poisoned water

Misinformation peddlers online often use a data gap to tell people to search for terms they know will bring them results that support their message. As Renee DiResta, a misinformation researcher, has said, at worst, top results may be entirely generated by people who believe and promote misinformation.