Concerns raised about innappropriate prescribing, dispensing of Ivermectin in Alberta

Ivermectin tablets (TajPharmaceuticalsLtd, Wikimedia Commons)
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It appears a small number of doctors and pharmacists across Alberta are prescribing and dispensing Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. The Alberta College of Pharmacy and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta have released a joint statement saying they are “very concerned about a small number of physicians and pharmacists who are spreading misinformation related to the appropriateness of Ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.”

Both colleges stress that Health Canada and Alberta Health Services do not recommend this drug be used when it comes to the coronavirus.

“In this light, Health Canada is advising Canadians not to use either the veterinary or human drug versions of ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19. There is no evidence that ivermectin in either formulation is safe or effective when used for those purposes. The human version of ivermectin is authorized for sale in Canada only for the treatment of parasitic worm infections in people.”

Ivermectin is usually given to treat parasites in animals. It’s an antibacterial drug, not anti-viral, and is said to be dangerous to humans in large quantities. This summer, it was reported that a number of Alberta livestock feed stores had been inundated with calls and emails from people looking to buy the dewormer.

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The colleges say they do not feel these behaviours align with a doctor’s or pharmacist’s professional responsibility to their patients and have sent out a directive that Ivermectin not be given out to Albertans, in any form, when it comes to treating or preventing COVID-19.

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