Government officials and medical experts appeal to advocates of antiparasitic drug Ivermectin to wait for the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for its compassionate use before encouraging the public to use it as treatment to COVID-19.
In his Tuesday briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor’s distribution Ivermectin supply to residents of Quezon City might raise red flags from regulatory bodies, as it is not approved for treatment use.
“Ang aking pakiusap, hintayin na lang natin dahil mabilisan naman ang desisyon ng FDA diyan. Hindi naman magtatagal iyan, at para rin po ito sa ating kapakanan at interes din dahil kailangang mapatunayang mabisa, epektibo at ligtas ang gamot na ito para sa COVID-19,” Roque said.
From the Department of Health-Technical Advisory Group, Edsel Salvaña emphasized the potential dangers high dosage of Ivermectin may bring.
“Pwedeng magkaroon ng brain damage ang isang tao at pwedeng mamatay kung ma-overdose nang todo-todo” Salvaña said in the same briefing.
Defensor earlier disclosed he used Ivermectin to treat himself while recovering from COVID-19. Because of his experience, he then urged authorities to consider monitoring Ivermectin’s local manufacturers and regulating the product instead of “killing” an initiative that could help people.
Citing a study of six trials conducted by the Philippine COVID-19 Clinical Practice Guidelines, the FDA and the Health Department reiterated that Ivermectin did not significantly reduce the risk of death among patients with mild to severe cases. It also did not substantially reduce the hospitalization period or time resolution of symptoms.