Sydney resident hospitalised with vomiting, diarrhoea from 'Covid cure'

·2-min read

A Sydney resident sick with Covid has presented at a hospital with vomiting and diarrhoea after taking a drug often touted as a “cure” for the virus by anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists.

The person arrived at Westmead Hospital’s Emergency Department not because of the virus but due to an overdose of “ivermectin and other supposed Covid ‘cures’ they ordered online,” Western Sydney Health said on Thursday.

Ivermectin is commonly used as a de-wormer for horses and has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in treating or preventing Covid in humans.

The substance has joined hydroxychloroquine as a potential “miracle cure” for the virus but scientific studies remain inconclusive and neither is currently recommended.

Ivermectin tablets.
The person arrived at Westmead Hospital’s Emergency Department not because of the virus but due to an overdose of ivermectin and other supposed Covid "cures" they ordered online.

The Sydney patient is now recovering at home, Western Sydney Health said.

“Thankfully they didn’t develop severe toxicity but it didn’t help their Covid either,” Westmead Hospital toxicologist Associate Professor Naren Gunja said.

“There’s no evidence to support the use of ivermectin to treat Covid-19.

“Don’t look for magic cures online, and don’t rely on what’s being peddled on the internet, because none of them work.”

Associate Professor Gunja said Westmead Hospital has seen numerous people seek treatment after trying to treat the virus with dangerous substances like hydroxychloroquine, disinfectants, bleach and alcohols.

“If you’ve taken ivermectin and you feel unwell, call the poison information hotline on 13 11 26 and always call triple zero (000) in an emergency,” he said.

General view of the Westmead Hospital in Sydney. Source: AAP
A patient was discharged from Westmead Hospital after being treated for side-effects after taking ivermectin. Source: AAP

TGA warns against Ivermectin after increase

Last month, the TGA issued a warning about the use of Ivermectin for treatment of Covid after detecting an increase in importation and prescribing of the drug.

“The TGA strongly discourages self-medication and self-dosing with ivermectin for Covid-19 as it may be dangerous to your health.

“Ivermectin is indicated in the management and treatment of infections caused by parasites, such as mites and worms. In Australia, Ivermectin has been approved for the treatment of roundworm infections, scabies and inflammatory rosacea.”

The TGA also warned against buying medicines online from unverified websites.

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