FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – The San Juan Regional Medical Center is urging the public to be wary of uncommon treatments for COVID-19 that aren’t authorized or approved by the FDA. According to a press release from the hospital, one of these treatments is a drug called ivermectin which is frequently used to treat or prevent parasites in animals.

The FDA has reportedly received multiple reports of patients who have required medical support and have needed hospitalization after self-medicating with ivermectin which is meant for horses. The San Juan Regional Medical Center has issued the following warnings regarding the treatment:

  • Ivermectin is not an anti-viral drug
  • Taking large doses of ivermectin is dangerous and can cause serious harm
  • You should never use medications intended for animals on yourself
  • Ivermectin products for animals are different from ivermectin for humans

The FDA also reports that you should not take ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19. Ivermectin tablets are only approved for use in humans for the treatment of some parasitic worms while ivermectin topical formulas are only approved for humans for the treatment of external parasites such as headlice or skin conditions such as rosacea.

Ivermectin is FDA approved for use in animals for prevention of heartworm disease in some small animal species and for the treatment of certain internal and external parasites in various animal species. The FDA reports that using these products in humans can cause serious harm.

San Juan Regional Medical Center states that there are dangers associated with using any treatment for COVID-19 that’s not approved or authorized by the FDA unless it’s part of the clinical trial. The hospital urges members of the community to talk to your primary care provider about COVID-19 treatments that you may benefit from.

As an example, San Juan Regional Medical Center offers Monoclonal Antibody infusions for patients who have confirmed mile to moderate coronavirus infection within 10 days of the onset of symptoms and are not hospitalized. Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and feel like they may be a candidate are asked to contact their primary care provider to see if you qualify for this treatment.