Reports of Ivermectin in North Dakota

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Ways to fight and treat COVID-19 have been the focus of the world for the past 18 months, and options have changed over that time.

However, the State Health Department is trying to promote its tools, while also fighting against unproven methods that are gaining popularity.

For the past few months, the popularity of Ivermectin has grown on the internet as means of treating COVID-19.

There are two types of Ivermectin. One for humans and one for animals.

The human kind isn’t normally prescribed for viruses. The one for animals is commonly used for parasites and lice.

Because of this, the Department of Health communicates with Poison Control on reports of its use in North Dakota.

With the virus changing, people are changing how they fight the illness.

With 99% of North Dakota’s cases in August being the Delta variant, health professionals are trying to promote prevention by getting vaccinated versus treatment.

“That’s the best thing that a person can do to protect themselves. The monoclonal antibodies are great, but it’s kind of like trying to figure out which fire department to call rather than preventing fires in the first place,” said Dr. Joshua Ranum, West River Regional Medical Center

Monoclonal antibodies are receiving positive results in patients, but it’s the non-approved Ivermectin that’s concerning some doctors.

Ivermectin has two formulas: one commonly used in animals, and another prescribed for humans.

They say data is insufficient to prove it helps and is unreliable as a treatment for COVID.

According to Poison Control, one person in the state had an accidental exposure using the veterinarian type.

The other was an intentional human formula used without a prescription.

That’s two for the entire state.

“We would like to keep it that way. We would really love it if we can that number really really low. We don’t need any adverse events due to Ivermectin in North Dakota,” said Kirby Kruger, NDDOH Disease Control Director.

Both forms are approved by the FDA, but only in limited scopes for humans. The FDA recommends people do not use it to fight COVID because of reports of doing more harm than good.

In response to the trends, the American Medical Association, American Pharmacist Association, and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists are calling on clinics to limit prescribing Ivermectin to patients, and promote the approved methods of treating the virus.

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