Back in March, Antiviral Research published an article declaring that ivermectin—known as a treatment for various parasitic conditions in humans and animals—was found to inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Some patients, presumably spurred on by exaggerated, out-of-context, or downright erroneous reports on the internet, took that as encouragement to seek out prescriptions for ivermectin and to self-treat for COVID-19. Now they are suffering the consequences, which include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as hypotension and neurologic effects such as decreased consciousness, confusion, hallucinations, and seizures. Coma and death are among the possible outcomes. The problem is significant enough that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Alert Network has issued an advisory for healthcare providers to be vigilant for signs of ivermectin overdose. According to an article on Medscape, there has been a 2,400% increase in prescriptions for ivermectin compared to the weekly average preceding the COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly, urgent care providers should counsel patients who show up seeking a prescription for ivermectin about the potential dangers of inappropriate use (and decline to prescribe it for COVID-19). In addition, however, be aware of the possible resultant symptoms.
A Little Information Can Be a Dangerous Thing (See: Ivermectin and COVID-19)