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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned the nation’s doctors and pharmacists against the use of the drug ivermectin in treating or preventing COVID-19.

In separate letters to the heads of the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Shannon N. Glueck, the FDA’s Acting Branch 4 Chief, wrote that the agency has “neither authorized nor approved any ivermectin drug product for use in preventing or treating COVID-19.”

Glueck noted that although clinical trials assessing ivermectin tablets for treating COVID-19 in people are ongoing, there is no data currently available that shows the drug is safe or effective for COVID-19 treatment or prevention.

The FDA letter also listed numerous side effects associated with ivermectin, “including skin rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, facial or limb swelling, dizziness, seizures, sudden drop in blood pressure, severe skin rash potentially requiring hospitalization and liver injury (hepatitis).”

Ivermectin has been FDA-approved for humans “at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms” as well as topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions, such as rosacea. The letter states that the FDA has recently received complaints about compounding pharmacies selling drug products that contain ivermectin and making claims that the products can treat or prevent COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Medical Examining Board is a member of the Federation of State Medical Boards. Additionally, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NAFB) membership includes the Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board.

The Racine County Eye is committed to publishing the most current and accurate information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in our Coronavirus section. View our COVID-19 Dashboard that offers realtime (daily updated) statistical reporting for Racine County.

Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...