Singapore — The drug ivermectin has been purchased by some Singaporeans as a preventative or a cure for Covid-19.
However, both the Health Sciences Authority and the Ministry of Health have warned people not to self-medicate with the drug.
Ivermectin, which is used to treat parasites primarily in animals, is at times given to humans as well, also for parasite treatment as well as specific skin conditions like rosacea.
While early studies on the drug had some promising results, scientists worldwide have cautioned against its use.
“Currently available data do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19,” wrote the US Food and Drug Administration, which also warned that overdosing on the drug can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, coma and even death.
This has not stopped people all over the world from buying and taking ivermectin, both as a preventative and as a cure for Covid.
Furthermore, many people who are against the Covid-19 vaccines have seemingly embraced ivermectin.
In Singapore, some people have been buying it online, according to a recent report. Ivermectin may only be bought with a prescription, which is likely the reason why people have been communicating via Telegram groups for purchasing the drug.
On Wednesday (Sept 8) the Health Sciences Authority commented on the matter, telling TODAY, “So far, there is no scientific evidence from properly conducted clinical trials to prove that this medicine is effective against Covid-19.
Consumers are strongly advised not to self-medicate with ivermectin and to consult their doctor for proper treatment of Covid-19,” HSA added.
In a Sept 9 Facebook post, this was echoed by the Ministry of Health, which wrote “The Health Sciences Authority has confirmed that Ivermectin is not an anti-viral drug and is not approved for treatment of COVID-19. Please do not self-medicate with Ivermectin and consult a doctor for proper treatment of COVID-19.”
Moreover, the HSA also warned that strong enforcement action would be taken against people who sell or supply the drug, or similar drugs, illegally.
Individuals found guilty of the illegal sale of ivermectin and similar medicines may be made to pay a fine of as much as $50,000 or jailed for as long as two years. /TISG
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