‘You are not a horse’

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today mocked the use of ivermectin for the treatment of covid-19. In Brazil, the drug is defended by President Jair Bolsonaro (no party), who discredits vaccines, but supports an “early treatment”.

In a post posted on social media, the agency says: “You’re not a horse. You’re not a cow. Seriously, guys. Stop it.” Like Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency), the FDA has the role of reviewing and releasing the use of drugs and vaccines in the United States.

The FDA says it has filed numerous reports of patients who sought medical help and were hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin, a drug used in the United States to treat or prevent parasites in animals.

“Using any treatment for covid-19 that is not approved or authorized by the FDA can be extremely dangerous and can cause serious harm,” the agency warns.

In the United States, the anti-vaccination movement, which questions the safety of immunizers, is growing. A poll suggests that resistance to vaccination runs along political lines, with nearly 30% of Republicans saying they will not be vaccinated, compared with just 4% of Democrats.

The FDA enforces that ivermectin is not an antiviral, that is, a drug to treat viruses. In the United States, there is approval, in specific doses, to treat parasitic worms in humans, such as lice. There is only initial research to analyze ivermectin versus covid.

“Taking excessive doses of this drug is dangerous and can cause serious harm”, he warns. Even for approved use, ivermectin can react with other medications, such as anticoagulants, and cause an overdose, seizure, coma, and even death.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there and you may have heard that it’s okay to use larger doses of ivermectin. This is wrong.”
Excerpt from text released by the FDA

According to the FDA, the preparation of ivermectin for animals and humans is different. “For one thing, animal drugs are often highly concentrated because they’re used on large animals like horses or cows, which can weigh a lot more than we do — a ton or more. Such high doses can be extremely toxic to humans.”

The FDA recommends that people continue to follow effective ways to protect themselves against covid: wearing a mask, practicing social detachment, and washing their hands frequently.

Bolsonaro defends medicine

In July, President Bolsonaro again advocated the use of ivermectin for the treatment of covid. During his weekly live, the president referred to an article produced by ten researchers from different universities in the United Kingdom and which was based on eight peer-reviewed research, nine unreviewed, six that were not even published and one independent disclosure.

Precisely because they have not yet passed through the scrutiny of peers, unreviewed studies are not conclusive and are not usually used to support public policies.

Ivermectin reduces covid deaths by 56%, a study by the University of Oxford shows. Sooner or later, the use of ivermectin will be scientifically proven.”
President Bolsonaro defends the use of medication without efficacy against covid

The fact that the use of ivermectin can reduce deaths from covid-19 by 56% involves 11 of the 24 studies, and the research does not clarify whether the articles that served as reference for this percentage were reviewed or not.

On live, Bolsonaro also stated that the percentage reduction in deaths cited in the study would be a “sign” that half of the more than 500,000 deaths by covid-19 in Brazil could have been avoided if the so-called “early treatment” had not been “politicized”.

However, given the inconclusive nature of the study recognized by the authors themselves, there is no way the research can support the president’s statement — the “early treatment” advocated by Bolsonaro refers to drugs without proven efficacy for covid-19.

Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) states, in a note published in July last year and updated in April, that there are no conclusive studies that prove the use of ivermectin against the coronavirus.

The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends the use of the medication only in clinical trials, since the drug’s action in covid cases is inconclusive. The European Medicines Agency (EMA), the regulatory agency of the European Union, also advises against its use outside of clinical trials.