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Ivermectin Poisonings Rise as Unproven Use for Covid Soars

  • Ivermectin calls surged in August, Oregon Poison Center says
  • Six people hospitalized after taking ivermectin preventively


Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg

Poisonings from taking ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug that some people have used in an attempt to treat or prevent Covid-19, rose sharply in August, according to a report from the Oregon Poison Center.

The center, which also serves Alaska and Guam, received 21 calls from people reporting ivermectin toxicity in August, up from a previous average of less than one per month, according to the report published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Approved to treat parasitic worms in both people and livestock, ivermectin has surged in popularity recently as fringe groups, vaccine skeptics and social-media figures hype it as a cheap and accessible treatment for the coronavirus.