Governor’s office urges against taking Ivermectin after lawmakers pen letter in support

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Multiple Louisiana legislators are making a push for the Department of Health to allow Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Denham Springs recently sent a letter to Governor Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health.

The letter was sent on Monday, September 13 and Rep. Hodges asks “Why limit our physicians and our citizen’s choices?”

Ivermectin has not been approved by the FDA to use for COVID-19 cases. Ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses for some parasitic worms in humans, as well as topical treatments for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea. The FDA has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical support and been hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses. Using any treatment for COVID-19 that is not approved or authorized by the FDA, unless part of a clinical trial, can cause serious harm. 

“I know people are concerned about the Delta variant and our recent COVID surge and may have questions,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. “Please beware of misinformation online including around ivermectin. The FDA has not approved or authorized ivermectin for preventing or treating cases of COVID-19. If you want to prevent COVID-19, get the COVID-19 vaccine. All three vaccines are safe and effective, all three were authorized by the FDA, and Pfizer was just approved by the FDA for those 16 years old and above.” 

A copy of the letter from Rep, Hodges can be found below:

The response from Gov. Edwards’ office was swift.

The Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Special Projects, Christina Stephens said, “Ivermectin is not an approved treatment for COVID. The FDA, the CDC, the Louisiana Department of Health and many others have thoroughly debunked the falsehood that ivermectin is a treatment for COVID. People should not take medications outside of how they are prescribed. To say that Ivermectin is a treatment for COVID is absolutely false, period.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this last month, “Clinical trials and observational studies to evaluate the use of ivermectin to prevent and treat COVID-19 in humans have yielded insufficient evidence for the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel to recommend its use.”

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