Taking Ivermectin in high doses could lead to people suffering from brain damage and even death, an infectious disease expert said Tuesday, April 6.
Dr. Edsel Salvana, a member of the Department of Health (DOH) Technical Advisory group, said Ivermectin has been widely used as an anti-parasitic drug for animals in the country.
However, the medical expert issued a warning against taking the anti-parasitic drug in high doses, especially on humans.
“‘Yung sinasabi po na gamitin para sa virus, na wala naman talagang ebidensiya sa ngayon, mataas po yung dose kasi they use 15 milligrams tapos repeated dosing po (The ones that are said to be used for the virus, which there is really no evidence so far, the dose is high because they use 15 milligrams and its repeated dosing),” he said.
“Sa ganyang mataas na dose, pwede pong magkaroon ng brain damage ang isang tao at pwedeng mamatay kung ma-overdose ng todo-todo, assuming po tama yung gamot na nakuha nila (At such a high dose, a person can have brain damage and can die if they overdose, assuming the medicine they got is right),” he added.
Salvana made the statement during the Palace press briefing following reports of some lawmakers planning to distribute Ivermectin to their constituents, as well as the selling of the said drug online.
“Kinakailangan po talaga yung mga pag-aaral ay alam po natin na the benefit is worth the risk lalo na kung mataas yung mga dose na ‘to (We really need the studies to determine that the benefit is worth the risk, especially if the doses are high),” he said.
The DOH and the Food and Drug Administration on April 5 said they do not recommend the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.
“Based on the current evidence from randomized controlled trials, the DOH agrees with the COVID-19 Living CPG Reviewers and does not recommend the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19,” health authorities said in a statement.
“Moreover, Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to the Philippines, has stated that there is no evidence that supports the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19, even as a preventive measure,” they added.