Ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug for common parastic infections as river blindness, scabies, filiariasis and others has found use as an antiviral agent for a viral infection like covid-19. It helps in Covid-19 by inhibiting the replication and multiplication of the Covid-19 causative virus ( SARS-CoV-2)
As they say in the Yoruba parlance ‘eda o laropin’, which means no one can be written off. Ivermectin has also joined the big league of drugs that became celebrity drugs overnight, all thanks to covid-19, lol. Dexamethasone once reigned early last year and now ivermectin seems to be stealing the show at the moment.
Everywhere you turn to, it is selling like water. Trust Nigerians and panic buy. One of my colleague even shared an experience he had with a beggar who was asking him for money and when the beggar saw that he wasn’t going to part with his money, the beggar asked if he could get ivermectin instead, lol, funny right.
Now, we all understand that we love life and all want to stay alive even though we all love heaven but we nor wan die. It becomes imperative for us as health practitioners to educate the general public on this drug ivermectin before we start causing more harm to ourselves knowingly or unknowingly.
Yes, it has been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) U.S.A that ivermectin be used for both prophylaxis and treatment of Covid-19, some good news if you ask me but please, let’s all slow down before we embark on getting this drug.
Many pharmacies and pharmacists have become millionaire just at the advent of discovery of the usage of this drug in covid-19, with a pack of ivermectin having 500tablets selling for about 30k and in some places 50k in Nigeria. Some premise sell one tablet for #60 while some sell for about #150 per tablet.
I see the rate people stock up and buy this drug and I wonder how little people seem to know about it. Querying one of my patients who asked for a pack of ivermectin, which contains about 500tablets, if she knows how to use it and for how long and her response was, shebi I will be using it everyday till it finishes. The way I shouted eewoh ehn, even me fear, lol.
Obviously, there are so many persons like this my patient who don’t have enough info about this drug but just follow the bandwagon of stocking it as everyone seems to be doing and never bothered to ask how it is used. They end up spending more for a drug they just need a few tablets for, and if it was just about the money, it would have been better but for the numerous side effects they stand to experience on taking this medication daily and the possible organ damage that might ensue.
It is in the light of this that I am impressing it upon all of us, to please ask the pharmacist about this drug and how many doses you will be needing before you start loading your body system with excess drugs.
I won’t give the dosage protocol for ivermectin use here on this post because of obvious reasons but will advise that you all speak to your pharmacist before getting one for yourself.
Do enjoy your weekend and stay safe.
Dr. Saheed Lekan-Balogun (PharmD)