Combined image of a veterinarian inspecting a horse, and a doctor inspecting a patient.

As the COVID Delta variant continues to spike, Texas has also seen a spike in a dangerous and debunked treatment that many people are wrongly using to treat the virus.

The issue has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to renew its warning against the human use of Ivermectin, a horse and cow dewormer. Sales of the drug have skyrocketed, leading to a 550% spike in poison calls across the Lone Star State.

A tweet from @US_FDA reads, “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously y’all. Stop it.”

The warning from the agency reads in part,”

“The FDA’s job is to carefully evaluate the scientific data on a drug to be sure that it is both safe and effective for a particular use, and then to decide whether or not to approve it. Using any treatment for COVID-19 that’s not approved or authorized by the FDA, unless part of a clinical trial, can cause serious harm.  FDA has not approved ivermectin for use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans. Ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses for some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea. Ivermectin is not an anti-viral (a drug for treating viruses.”

Read the full warning below:

The North Texas Poison Center has reportedly received 52 poisoning calls for Ivermectin this year, compared to six through august of last year, according to WFAA.   Officials say misinformation about the product is running rampant. Debunked claims among conservative sites and media including Fox News has triggered usage.

There is a human form of Ivermectin but is not approved for COVID-19, as it has not shown effectiveness in test trials.

Packages of animal Ivermectin clearly states, “Not for human consumption.”

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