There has been a more than 300-fold increase in the last year in the seizure of doses of Ivermectin – a drug primarily used for deworming horses.
vermectin has been associated with pseudo-cures for Covid-19, but no scientific evidence exists that it aids the prevention or cure of coronavirus.
The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) seized 4,958 units of the drugs between July 2020-2021, according to reports from TheJournal.ie.
There were 158 units of the drug seized in the 12 months previous to July 2020, with the majority of the seizures being deemed for personal importation.
The drug is licensed for use in humans but ordinarily used to treat skin conditions such as rosacea.
The HSE has warned against the use of drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 that are not licensed by the European Medicines Agency or the HPRA.
Sourcing of the drug for Covid therapeutic purposes has soared in the last 18 months.
“There seems to be a growing interest in a drug called Ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of Covid-19 in humans,” the US Food and Drug Administration said.
“Certain animal formulations of Ivermectin such as pour-on, injectable, paste, and ‘drench’ are approved in the US to treat or prevent parasites in animals.
“For humans, Ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.
“However, the FDA has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical attention, including hospitalization, after self-medicating with Ivermectin intended for livestock,” the FDA said.
A HSE spokesperson told TheJournal,ie that Ivermectin is “not an approved treatment for Covid-19 in Ireland or anywhere and while small studies have been done, none suggested that this agent will have any benefit”.
“There is no specific treatment for Covid-19. But many of the symptoms of Covid-19 can be treated at home,” the HSE said,