Quit horsing around: Your doctor knows best about ivermectin, COVID-19 and other health care needs

August 27, 2021
News headline Ivermectin

Having a primary care provider is a great way to get the best care and support (for humans)

By Regence

You may have seen recent headlines in the news and on social media about people taking the drug ivermectin to “treat” COVID-19. 

What is ivermectin?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some forms of ivermectin are used in animals to prevent heartworm disease and certain internal and external parasites. For humans, the FDA has approved its use to treat people with specific conditions caused by parasitic worms.

Taking ivermectin to treat humans with COVID-19. Spoiler alert: Don’t do it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently seen a rapid increase in ivermectin prescriptions—and reports of serious illness as a result. Other officials are also reporting an alarming uptick in ivermectin dispensed by retail pharmacies. There has also been an increase in purchasing over-the-counter versions of the drug that were developed for veterinarians to treat animals.

The CDC sent out an alert clearly stating there is no data to show that ivermectin is an effective human treatment for COVID-19. In fact, the increased use of ivermectin has led to a rise in calls to poison control centers with issues of overdoses and other adverse effects.

Speak with your primary care provider for care guidance

Whether you’re looking for ways to treat and prevent COVID-19, or if you have any health care-related questions, it’s best to speak with your primary care provider (PCP). Unverified guidance found through social media, friends or other sources without medical expertise should be avoided.

What if I don’t have a primary care provider?

Most health plans will help you search for available PCPs in your area. Regence members can search online 24/7 at regence.com. Sign in to your online account, or create one in minutes, to see more of your health plan benefits and options. You can also call our customer service line using the number on the back of your Regence member ID card.

Bottom line: Stay safe and get vaccinated

The COVID-19 pandemic and related media coverage can quickly overwhelm the most resilient of us. It’s important to continue doing all we can to stop the spread of the virus and protect one another. This includes getting your FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, wearing masks, and taking responsibility for your own health and protecting others. This is especially true as the Delta variant overwhelms our hospital system and emergency rooms.

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