Conspiracy theories about a parasite drug are making people sick in Oregon, according to Oregon Health & Science University.
Despite warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration against using the drug ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19, the Oregon Poison Center is getting a lot of calls about it.
In all of 2020, the poison center managed just three in which people intentionally misused ivermectin. But so far this month, the poison center has already managed nine ivermectin misuse cases.
The drug is meant to treat parasitic worms and some skin conditions. OHSU officials warn that ivermectin can cause nausea, low blood pressure, hives and seizures.
And misusing it can be fatal. Taking medications intended for animals is especially unsafe because they’re more concentrated and contain other ingredients that aren’t safe for humans.
OHSU reiterated that getting vaccinated is the best way to avoid getting COVID-19. Using face masks in public, avoiding crowds and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of the virus.
This story was originally published by Oregon Public Broadcasting.