An Auburn University associate professor of animal sciences on Thursday urged the public not to self medicate with the drug Ivermectin to treat the coronavirus.
A small study in Australia has shown Ivermectin to be effective in treating COVID-19 at the cellular level, but only in Petri dishes in sterilized lab conditions.
Ivermectin is commonly used to treat parasitic infestations in cows, sheep, horses and even pets like dogs and cats. Some doctors also use Ivermectin to treat parasitic diseases like roundworms in developing countries.
The study has been widely shared on social media, leading some individuals to begin buying Ivermectin from veterinary clinics.
“There’s still a lot we don’t know about how effective a treatment of ivermectin really is for COVID-19 in humans,” said Dr. Soren Rodning, who is an Alabama Extension veterinarian in addition to his duties as a professor.
Rodning emphasized that there was serious, scientific reasons for why certain drugs are for animals and certain drugs are for humans.
“The concentration of ivermectin in these products or some of the inactive ingredients used in animal formulations may not be safe for human use,” he commented in a release provided by Auburn University.
The Australian study showing Ivermectin to be effective against COVID-19 was done in Petri dishes in a lab. The scientific term for results shown in a lab are In vitro results.
“One frustrating reality for researchers is that many drugs may show in vitro effects, but not show the same type of results once in vivo testing begins,” said Rodning.
The scientific term for results found in living beings like mice or humans are in Vivo results.
Rodning reasserted what all health officials are telling the public: people should practice social distancing, wash their hands and not touch their face.