Should I Take Ivermectin If I Have COVID?

No, you should not take ivermectin if you have COVID.  Ivermectin is not approved by the FDA for treatment or prevention of COVID.

What is ivermectin?

Ivermectin is a drug that is used for treating parasites and not viruses like SARS-COV-2.  In the US, Ivermectin is mostly used for treating heartworm in animals.  

What is the evidence for ivermectin and COVID?

One study showed evidence that ivermectin slows down the copying of SARS-COV-2 in lab based experiments with cells.  But the dose needed to see this in a person would be many times higher than what is safe or approved for human use.  There are other small trials of ivermectin to treat COVID, but  a Cochrane review of the data published in July does not show a benefit of ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Cochrane reviews are considered the gold standard when it comes to deciding what works in medicine.

Why shouldn't I take ivermectin?

Ivermectin products that are made for animals are never safe for humans to take due to the high doses that can be toxic.  There is a type of ivermectin (Stromectol) that is made for humans, but this should only be taken when prescribed by your doctor.  Ivermectin can interact with other medications including blood thinners and  cause severe reactions if not used as prescribed and under the care of a doctor.

There are clinical trials ongoing to test ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19.  But for right now, you should only take ivermectin (Stromectol) if it is prescribed to you by your doctor for its approved use.

If you or someone you know is concerned that you have taken ivermectin, contact Poison Control:  1-800-222-1222.

Last update: September 23, 2021, 1:00 PM EST

Science review: ERS