DOH warns against use of anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin for COVID-19 patients

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 26) — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday cautioned COVID-19 patients against using Ivermectin as treatment.

Ivermectin is a medication used to treat many types of parasite infestations such as head lice and scabies.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the drug has only been studied in laboratories, adding it has not been tested on animals or humans as a possible COVID-19 treatment.

She said using off-label drugs, such as Ivermectin, could cause more harm than good to the patient.

"Off-label sya kasi pinroduce sya for another purpose," she said. "Hindi po dapat tayo sumusubok ng ganito na wala pang approval ng FDA at ng ethics review board."

[Translation: It is off-label because it was produced for a different purpose. You shouldn't use medicines that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and ethics review board.]

The DOH also issued a similar warning to doctors who will prescribe the drug as remedy for COVID-19.

"I am just warning those doctors who are doing this without undergoing the regulatory process dahil ito ay maaring makasama sa mga binibigyan natin [This can be harmful to those who will receive it]," Vergeire added.