WAUSAU – The Marathon County Health Department is reminding residents that Ivermectin is not authorized or approved by the FDA for prevention or treatment of COVID-19. The announcement comes after the department received reports of local residents, including children, taking Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 infection, the health department said in a news release.

Ivermectin is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved prescription medication used to treat certain infections caused by internal and external parasites. Ivermectin is used to treat parasites, such as worms and lice in humans, and is also used by veterinarians to de-worm large animals. It is not approved for use in humans to treat or prevent COVID-19. The CDC has reported an increase in calls to poison centers related to Ivermectin ingestion and the severe illness it may cause.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent a health advisory warning doctors and the public about the “rapid increase” in prescriptions for the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin. People receiving prescriptions for Ivermectin for COVID-19 are advised that its use for this purpose is considered “off label” and may not be safe.

The National Institutes of Health’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel has determined that there is insufficient data to recommend Ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19 at this time. ClinicalTrials.gov has listings of ongoing clinical trials that might provide more information about these hypothesized uses in the future.

Consult your family’s medical doctor for more information on COVID-19 prevention and treatment options.

For more information, view the full Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Advisory at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/2021/han00449.asp.