Two people have died in New Mexico after taking a deworming drug for horses and other livestock to treat COVID-19, officials said.
David Scrase, the acting head of the state health department, said the two patients were infected with the virus and attempted to treat it themselves with the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin.
“The jury is out on ivermectin. It is not recommended by the FDA for this indication of treating COVID,” Scrase said last week at a press briefing.
The patients who died were 38 and 79 years old and in one of the cases, the drug caused kidney failure, Scrase said.
“I know that one of the patients had a fairly serious issue with COVID… The patient was on dialysis and ivermectin was basically taken in lieu of or instead of effective treatments,” he said.
The Food and Drug Administration warned against people taking the drug intended for horses, cows and other large livestock after multiple reports of hospitalizations.
“You are not a horse,” FDA officials tweeted. “You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”