Some Pinoys infected with COVID-19 despite ivermectin use: doctors' group

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2021 10:39 AM

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MANILA - A number of Filipinos contracted COVID-19 despite using ivermectin, a deworming drug touted by some politicians as treatment for the respiratory illness, a group of doctors said Tuesday. 

"We have actually seen a number of Filipinos who got COVID-19 despite using ivermectin, and in fact, not only getting infected with COVID-19 but the COVID-19 they got became really serious that they are coming to the hospital with severe COVID-19," Dr. Maricar Limpin, vice president of the Philippine College of Physicians, told ANC.

She said some sought medical attention due to the side effects brought by the anti-parasitic drug.

The PCP has joined the chorus of other medical groups warning the public against the use of ivermectin due to lack of data demonstrating its benefits against the new coronavirus.

"Based on current evidence from randomized controlled trials, ivermectin does not significantly improve clinical outcomes or reduce death among adults with mild COVID-19 infection," the group earlier said.

It added that ivermectin use was associated with side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, facial or limb swelling, neurologic adverse events (dizziness, seizures, confusion), sudden drop in blood pressure potentially requiring hospitalization, and liver injury (hepatitis).

"We can't allow the health of the Filipinos to be jeopardized. As we battle COVID-19, it can't be that we will just take any medicine that is not founded in science and which this medicine, it may even lead to more disastrous effect," Limpin said.

Last week, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor and Sagip party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta distributed free capsules of the anti-parasitic drug despite warnings from several health organizations and medical groups.

Defensor had said the ivermectin could be distributed through licensed compounding laboratories or pharmacies with doctor's prescription.

So far, only 5 hospitals have been granted by the Food and Drug Administration compassionate special permit to use ivermectin as an investigational drug against COVID-19.