MANILA - The doctors of former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada have refused to give him ivermectin as the drug is only for animals, the octogenarian politician's eldest son said Monday.
There was a discussion among siblings if they should administer ivermectin, former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada told ANC's Headstart.
"The doctors said, 'I will not give ivermectin to your dad because that is only for animals,'" he said.
"I really have to follow the doctors' advice," he said.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier granted compassionate use permits to several hospitals who would want to administer ivermectin on COVID-19 patients after several politicians advocated for its use in battling coronavirus.
Among the politicians who received ivermectin was former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, who is 97 years old.
Estrada was also not given Linghua Qingwen, an in demand Chinese drug that could allegedly address symptoms of COVID-19, Jinggoy said.
"I consulted the doctors of my dad and they talked among themselves and they agreed to administer Leronlimab to my father," he said.
Leronlimab is an "an investigational product which is still undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of Cancer, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)... and COVID-19," according to the FDA.
This means that the product can only be used by certain hospitals and doctors who would request for it.
The younger Estrada said their father was also given Remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral medication.
"Maraming gamot na binibigay sa aking ama so I cannot credit kung ano nagpagaling sa kaniya," he said.
(There were a lot of medicine given to my father so I cannot credit which one helped him survive.)
Erap was admitted to the hospital earlier this month after testing positive for COVID-19.
The former President was readmitted to the intensive care unit due to bacterial infection in his lungs, but is set to be transferred to a regular room on Monday, Jinggoy said.
"His blood pressure has already stabilized. His kidney function has already improved. His white blood cells, which rose to an alarming level of 35,000 has already decreased," he said.
His doctors said that among intubated patients, only 54 percent survive, but in the hospital where he is confined, 75 percent of patients who have been intubated survive, Estrada's eldest son said.
"Noong na-intubate ang daddy ko, we were already on the verge of tears... I hope na isa sa 75 percent ang daddy ko," he said.
(When my dad was intubated, we were already on the verge of tears... I hope my dad is among the 75 percent who survive after being intubated.)
"You know naman my dad is a fighter," he said.
The former President is also celebrating his 84th birthday on Monday.