Health Canada reminds Canadians that ivermectin does not prevent or treat COVID-19

Health Canada reminds Canadians that ivermectin does not prevent or treat COVID-19

Canadians are once again being told not to consume a deworming drug to treat or prevent COVID-19.

Health Canada issued a statement Tuesday politely reminding Canadians that despite what you may have read on social media, there is absolutely no evidence that ivermectin prevents or even treats COVID-19 and is not authorized to be used to treat the virus in Canada.

“To date, Health Canada has not received any drug submission or applications for clinical trials for ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19,” the health agency said in a statement, which notes that poison control centres nationwide have seen a surge in calls regarding the drug.

RELATED: Ivermectin sells out at feed stores on Vancouver Island due to false claims that it can treat COVID-19

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that treats parasitic worm infections. There are two versions of the drug — one for humans that is available only as a prescription and one for animals known as the veterinary version — that have been approved for use in Canada as a treatment for parasitic worm infections.

The veterinary version of ivermectin, especially at high doses, can be dangerous for humans and may cause serious health problems that include vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, seizures, and even death, according to Health Canada.

“Canadians should never consume health products intended for animals because of potential serious health risks, including seizures, coma and even death,” the agency said in its release.

RELATED: Anti-parasite drug used on Arkansas jail’s inmates to treat COVID despite warnings

Interest in the drug started rising in the United States and elsewhere toward the end of last year and the beginning of this one, when studies – some later withdrawn, in other countries – seemed to suggest ivermectin had some potential and it became a hot topic of conversation among conservatives on social media.

The myth about ivermectin being an alternative to COVID-19 vaccination eventually reached Vancouver Island and by early September the veterinary version, which could be bought over the counter, had completely disappeared from animal feed store shelves across the Island.

“There is no evidence that ivermectin in either formulation is safe or effective when used for those purposes,” Health Canada said.

According to Health Canada, they recently became aware that ivermectin had been advertised in Canada for the treatment of COVID-19 and ordered advertisers to remove the non-compliant advertisements.

“It is illegal in Canada to sell or advertise a drug in a false, misleading or deceptive manner,” the agency said.

RELATED: Lawsuits demanding hospitals give COVID-19 patients deworming drug ivermectin filed in U.S.


Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!