The Scoop on Ivermectin
August 28, 2021
What’s with Ivermectin?
Take it or don’t take it – what’s the story?
There are multiple forms of Ivermectin:
(1) Prescription ivermectin for human use, for the purpose of eradicating internal or external parasites.
(2) Oral paste de-wormer for horses.
(3) Pour-on liquid for cattle, to eliminate pests such as lice.
I have experience with all three.
These different forms of ivermectin are not interchangeable.
Does ivermectin work against COVID-19?
In 2020, before COVID-19 vaccines were readily available worldwide, there were reports of various treatments being used to combat the disease. One of these treatments was the use of prescription oral ivermectin. I recall reading in publications such as The Times of India that patients in India found some success in treatment with oral ivermectin. I had also read at least one article that research with ivermectin in cells in the lab indicated that ivermectin was effective in preventing SARS-Cov-2 from invading cells. To my knowledge, there has been no official human study of the efficacy of ivermectin in treating or preventing COVID-19. In the United States, health officials continue to report that there is no evidence supporting the claim that ivermectin is effective in treating or preventing infection with the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
With contradictory reports from different sources, and lacking news of an official trial of ivermectin in humans, it’s hard to say whether or not there is any advantage to treating COVID-19 with prescription ivermectin manufactured for humans. There are articles indicating it has been useful in some populations; there are many articles warning against humans taking veterinary-grade ivermectin, as well as reports of calls to poison control centers, hospitalizations, and deaths in people who self-medicated using veterinary ivermectin products.
Many news articles tell people to not take ivermectin that is used to treat parasites in horses and cattle. (While use in horses is via oral administration, what I have seen for cattle is not – it is poured onto their hide.)
With some articles recommending its use and other articles warning of its toxicity, it’s not surprising if people are confused. It is important to understand that there are different types of and uses for ivermectin – some veterinary, and some pharmaceutical. People should consume only the pharmaceutical ivermectin that has been prescribed for them by their physician. Issues with veterinary use are described below.
Reports of using horse de-wormer in combating COVID-19 infection
I am not familiar with the method or rationale that some people use in self-medicating with ivermectin paste. The packaging explicitly states that the product is unsafe for humans. Horse de-wormer facts:
- A tube of ivermectin horse de-wormer is packaged as a dose for a 1,250-pound horse. (Some manufacturers may package tubes with slightly different doses, such as for a 1,000-pound horse.) A dose for a young miniature horse weighing 125 pounds would be one-tenth of the tube. The tubes’ plungers are calibrated and marked and provide a means of stopping the dose at the appropriate weight for the animal.
- Packaging for ivermectin horse de-wormer clearly shows that it is 1.87% ivermectin. What is the other 98.13% of the gel or paste? No one knows. (The manufacturer just says don’t put it in your body, and don’t even touch it.)
- Horse de-wormer packaging clearly states that the de-wormer is Not for human consumption (see below). Further, it warns against skin contact, and says to wash your hands after administering it to your horse.
For decades, I used Horse Health ivermectin with my horses. What I currently have is Durvet.
A dose calibrated for a 1,250-pound horse comes in a tube.
The blue plunger, as shown below, delivers the entire dose.
The white plastic “nut” at the far right end can be rotated and moved to set a smaller dose. The image below shows the plunger set to deliver a dose for a 250-pound horse.
Note the new location of the white plastic collar on the blue plunger.
Veterinary-use only warning:
What is says is:
WARNING: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption.
Not for use in humans Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. Refrain from smoking and eating when handling. Wash hands after use. Avoid contact with eyes. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) contains more detailed occupational safety information. To report adverse reactions in users, to obtain more information or to obtain MSDS, contact Durvet at 1-800-821-5570.
Ivermectin is not to be used in horses for human consumption. In cattle, there are time limits during which specific drugs may not be administered prior to slaughter.
Pour-on ivermectin for cattle
A relatively small amount of liquid ivermectin is poured onto cattle to eliminate various parasites, such as external body lice. Consider that most cattle weigh between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds. That’s up to a ton. This form of ivermectin is designed to permeate the animal and eliminate pests in areas that weren’t even covered during the administration of the dose. What chemicals allow this dispersion? Just don’t mess with it. #cattle #pesticide #pouron
Are there other veterinary uses?
There may be, but this article refrains from providing any potentially harmful ideas that haven’t already been spread about in the media. Do not consume any ivermectin that has not been prescribed specifically for you by your own doctor.
Prescription ivermectin for humans
If you need ivermectin, get a prescription for the pharmaceutical grade that has been tested, approved, and used for various treatments in humans. I had occasion for a prescription once, and noticed no ill effects, and no side-effects.
COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) have been administered to many millions of individuals worldwide under emergency use authorization. Additional vaccines from other manufacturers have been administered outside the US. The Pfizer vaccine has just this week (on August 23, 2021) been granted US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in individuals 16 years of age and older. Moderna recently has submitted the application for their vaccine approval. Although we must be cautious with new variants and look for news from medical professionals regarding boosters, the current vaccines have been used by hundreds of millions of people, and proven safe and effective.
Unless a person has a medical condition preventing them from getting one of the COVID-19 vaccines, consider that the vaccine may be safer and more effective in preventing COVID-19 infection, or at least minimizing its severity in case of a breakthrough infection, as compared to self-medicating with a veterinary medicine explicitly stated by the manufacturer as not safe for human use. If you and your physician deem pharmaceutical-grade prescription ivermectin manufactured for human use to be appropriate, that is a matter between you and your physician.