SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KRON) – Health officials are warning people not to take Ivermectin, a horse dewormer, to cure or prevent COVID-19.
The California Poison Control director says they have seen “some” increase in calls because of Ivermectin use.
Some animal feed stores in the Bay Area have seen people coming in to buy animal Ivermectin products for human use.
Employees at Western Farm Center in Santa Rosa are used to answering questions about pets and farm animals but in the last month, they’ve seen more people purchasing Ivermectin products for human use.
“The lady who was saying I hope this is what my boss wanted me to buy,” Trevor Frampton said. “We asked what kind of horse does he have, and she said ‘no he doesn’t have a horse, it’s for him.'”
The owner of the feed store, Trevor Frampton, says they don’t want to police the product, but sometimes they’re left with no choice.
“Now I know that you’re not buying it for an animal, we’re not going to sell it to you,” Frampton said.
When taking a look at some of the products they have with Ivermectin in it, every single one says for oral use in horses only and this one specifically says to keep out of the reach of children.
“Humans are very different than horses. One major difference being of course the weight and a dose for a horse is definitely not the same as for a human,” Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said.
Some of the product’s smallest dosages are designed for a 250-pound animal.
UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong also pointed out that Ivermectin is an antiparasitic.
“We’ve never really been successful in treating a virus with something other than an antiviral drug,” Chin-Hong said.
Dr. Chin-Hong says Ivermectin hasn’t been studied extensively to treat COVID-19 and some studies show it can pose a real danger.
“You actually increase deaths and ICU admissions by using Ivermectin. Even in a prescribed way,” Dr. Chin-Hong said.
Frampton says he’s not forcing his employees to intervene with people’s purchases but some have.
“We’ve had a couple of different people who have stopped the sale because they don’t want to see someone get hurt. None of us want to see that,” Frampton said.
He says in addition to the horse paste, there is an Ivermectin drench for sheep and goats, and an injection for cattle and swine.
He says at this point, he only has one vial of the injectable left, and all the human use has resulted in a shortage for animals that need it.