Authorities warn taking the drug for Covid is ineffective and could cause serious health effects
A lawsuit may force an Ohio hospital to give one of its Covid patients Ivermectin, a livestock deworming drug that has been embraced by right-wing circles as a coronavirus treatment, even though health authorities warn it is dangerous and ineffective to use as a pandemic cure.
Last week, a county judge ruled that a Cincinnati-area hospital has to prescribe the drug, according to the wishes of the wife of a man who has been battling Covid and related health effects since July.
Jeffrey Smith, 51, tested positive for Covid on 9 July, and the order mandates that the West Chester Hospital provide him the dangerous drug, on the orders of his personal doctor.
The Independent has reached out the hospital for comment.
The lawsuit doesn’t specify whether Mr Smith is vaccinated against Covid-19, but state data suggests it is likely he hasn’t had the jab, since 20,500 of the 21,000 Ohioans in the hospital since January with Covid were unvaccinated.
Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic, rather than anti-viral, drug, and is most commonly used in livestock, with limited human uses approved.
The Food and Drug Administration has warned Americans not to take Ivermectin for Covid, cautioning it could cause serious health effects.
“There’s a lot of misinformation around, and you may have heard that it’s okay to take large doses of ivermectin. That is wrong,” the agency writes on its website. “Even the levels of ivermectin for approved uses can interact with other medications, like blood-thinners. You can also overdose on ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma and even death.”
Despite these warnings, the patient’s family doctor, Ohio physician Dr Fred Waghsul, has said federal health authorities and the media are engaged in a “conspiracy” to cover up the effectiveness of the drug, an effort he compares to genocide.
“If we were a country looking at another country allowing those [COVID-19] deaths daily … we would have been screaming, ‘Genocide!’” he told Ohio Capitol Journal.
Though Ivermectin has been approved for limited uses in humans, such as a topical form to treat head lice, the CDC has said its clinical trials with the drug haven’t turned up sufficient evidence to merit using the treatment for Covid.
Conservative figures, including Kentucky senator Rand Paul as well as numerous online conspiracists, have pushed to investigate or use the drug as a Covid treatment.
Lawsuits in Chicago and Buffalo, New York, have sought similar results to force hospitals to use Ivermectin.