Several social media posts recently promoted ivermectin for its alleged ability to treat and prevent an array of illnesses. Some promoted ivermectin as a treatment for the flu and RSV, while others alleged it can treat shingles, autoimmune conditions, COVID-19, and the common cold. Some also claimed ivermectin can treat so-called “vaccine injuries” from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Risk level: Medium
Recommendation: These types of posts may discourage patients from seeking safe, effective medical treatments in favor of unsafe, ineffective options. The widespread nature of these posts during respiratory disease season elevates the risk. It is recommended doctors be prepared for patient questions about ivermectin; emphasize that ivermectin has not been shown to treat COVID-19, the flu, RSV, or any illnesses other than certain infections caused by parasites; and advise patients that taking ivermectin for off-label purposes can result in poisoning.