State Health Director raises ivermectin concerns
North Carolina’s State Health Director is asking clinicians to counsel their patients against improper use of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.
In a Sept. 14 letter to medical professionals, Dr. Betsey Tilson, State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer for the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), notes that the state has observed a marked increase in ivermectin prescriptions in recent months as public interest in ivermectin as a potential COVID-19 remedy has grown, although it is not currently authorized or approved for that use. Tilson writes that NCDHHS is concerned that:
• There has been a notable increase in calls to poison control and emergency department visits connected to ivermectin. Such incidents may be the result of excessive dosages of ivermectin, or ingestion of veterinary products that contain ivermectin, including topical preparations intended to be applied to the skin.
• There may be a misperception that ivermectin is a substitute for vaccination or other recommended preventative measures.
Dr. Tilson’s letter includes talking points for clinicians. NC DHHS asks that medical professionals use them to help ensure that patients make health care decisions based on reliable, factual information.