The Hungarian Food Safety Authority (NÉBIH) issued a warning advising people not to take the veterinary medicinal product “ivermectin” after an increased demand has been reported for products containing the substance. According to NÉBIH’s alert, there is still a lot to be established about the drug, and since it wasn’t tested on humans, it could even be dangerous.
In Hungary, products containing the active substance ivermectin are given to large mammals, especially horses, against diseases caused by ectoparasites or nematodes. There are currently 25 different products in circulation.
Recently, however, the demand for the substance reportedly increased, indicating a probable hike in human demands. This is due to recent news circulating on the internet about its alleged efficacy against the coronavirus.
Certain research around the world indeed recently found that it could be effective against the coronavirus. NÉBIH, however, warns that it shouldn’t be used for that, as it is not yet established whether it is suitable for the purpose or not, and if yes, how and in what dosage.
The communique also draws attention to the fact that veterinary medicinal products are not authorized for human use as they weren’t developed for human needs and were only tested on animals. As a result, potential risks for humans are not revealed. In addition, the ingestion of certain veterinary medicinal products can even be dangerous and potentially cause poisoning due to the excipients.
featured image illustration via János Mészáros/MTI