Vaccine skeptics are taking horse-strength dewormer to treat Covid, accidentally poisoning themselves

Vaccine skeptics are taking horse-strength dewormer to treat Covid, accidentally poisoning themselves

Covid “truthers” might be averse to to getting vaccinated and wearing masks, but they are willing treat their Covid infections by drinking horse-strength tubes of medication meant to deworm horses.

Indeed, as reported by The Daily Beast, anti-vaxxers are now pursuing ivermectin for equine, also known as “horse paste,” an anti-parasitic medication that protects horses and livestock from worms and other parasites. Ivermectin is occasionally prescribed to humans to treat parasites (in its human-dose form) and studies are investigating its effects on treating and preventing coronavirus, though none have been conclusive.

Still, some medical groups continue to push it, including America’s Frontline Doctors, of which Dr. Stella Emmanuel, the Trump-approved conspiracy theorist who said women are impregnated by “demon sperm” in their sleep and alien DNA is used in medicine, is a member.

One pharmacist told The Daily Beast that their pharmacy had been “inundated with ivermectin prescriptions” from this very group, despite the lack of clinical convictions regarding its effectiveness.

But human ivermectin medication can be hard to come by, especially since it’s not yet been approved to treat Covid. Thus, we’re presented with a horse-sized problem: People are simply opting to purchase ivermectin medication meant for species three-times their size.

Ivermectin for horses and livestock is easy to find at tractor and animal supply stores, both in the form of paste — and, well, injection,  (…do they not see the irony?) but because a dose meant for a horse is obviously significantly larger than one intended for humans, people are unintentionally poisoning themselves.

A Texas-based poison control specialist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of repercussions, told The Daily Beast that “there is certainly a noticeable increase in calls to poison centers regarding ivermectin being misused.”

“It’s clear that a vast majority are associated with a belief that it will prevent or treat COVID. That said, I do want to be careful not to be sensational—there’s no epidemic of ivermectin overdoses in hospitals, but it’s needless suffering given the lack of conclusive evidence of a benefit,” they added.

The Daily Beast also uncovered several Facebook users suggesting others use the drugs developed specifically for stallions, even if doctors advise otherwise. “Personally I haven’t had this situation, but if I did, I would sneak horse paste into the hospital and would rub it into the armpit myself to save my loved one,” one ivermectin Facebook group member told another. Devotees have also taken to Amazon, where patrons can purchase horse ivermectin sans prescription, writing cryptic reviews about using it for themselves. “My ‘horse’ had no negative side effects, and now he tells me he feels like a million bucks and is now Covid-free,” one buyer wrote. “If you are intelligent enough to be able to weigh yourself and smart enough to do fractions you can do this safely,” said another.

Still, despite what these Facebook and Amazon “experts” might claim — taking horse ivermectin is legitimately dangerous.  “This is actually the primary situation we get called about,” the poison control worker said.

“The big headache for poison control centers is that people are circumventing their physician and going to animal supply stores and acquiring ivermectin which can be purchased without a prescription with the understanding it’s for large animal veterinary use only.”

“This form of ivermectin is a 1.87% paste [in delicious apple flavor]—it’s so concentrated because it’s formulated for 1,500-pound horses, not humans,” they continued. “Unless someone knows what they’re doing, it’s very easy to overdose on the paste.”

So please, we are begging you: Please stop taking medicine meant for horses, and consult a reputable medical professional.

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