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Irony and Ivermectin
Note: Some readers have been confused by this article. It is meant to be sarcastically funny and tongue in cheek. For the record: I think ivermectin is very safe; given the low risk vs potentially high benefit I think the evidence is in favor of its use for COVID-19, and my experience with over 4000 recovered COVID cases has confirmed that. The aim here was to poke fun at the patently ridiculous reasons the establishment has for discouraging its use. I had fun writing it and hope some of you manage to get a laugh out of it.
Irony: The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
Ivermectin: Devil’s drug.
I’m here to warn you about a drug called ivermectin.
Bad doctors in the US are writing 88,000 off-label prescriptions a week for Ivermectin to prevent and treat COVID-19, but that is wrong because you are not supposed to take it off-label for COVID-19.
The CDC, the FDA, the American Medical Association, and American Pharmacists Association are strongly warning against its use.
Ivermectin does have a 40-year history of safe use at low doses to treat parasites and scabies and some studies have shown it is very safe at very high doses for prolonged periods of time, but it is still a dangerous drug because some people have overdosed on a horse version of ivermectin and had to call poison control for things like nausea and dizziness.
In fact, due to all the misinformation spreading about ivermectin, hundreds of desperate people in every state have taken the horse version of ivermectin without consulting a doctor and ended up calling poison control when it made them sick. Thankfully their own doctors had refused to prescribe the human version of ivermectin because they had been warned by the American Medical Association, so those good doctors won’t be held liable for their silly patients’ misinformed choices.
The American Medical Association sent out a warning to doctors saying that at extremely high doses ivermectin can cause coma, paralysis, and death. This can also be caused by very high doses of any drug, so you should never take any drug in extremely high doses.
This can also happen with water, it’s called water intoxication – don’t ever drink an extremely large amount of water really fast. It could kill you. In regular amounts water is fine, it can even be healthy for you to drink water, just avoid toxic doses at all costs.
Some misinformation gurus state that there are more than 60 positive studies in more than 20 thousand patients that have been done around the world studying ivermectin for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
This is wildly inaccurate misinformation because the CDC and FDA say we can’t trust those studies. Some of the studies may have been faked, others were not up to our high standards for clinical research because there was no funding for the independent researchers that put them together.
Some good and bad meta-analyses have also been done of the ivermectin studies. A meta-analysis is a study combining lots of other studies and it’s considered the gold standard of clinical research, but only when the studies it is studying are of good quality.
The results seen in the various meta-analyses that were done depend on which studies were included and which ones were thrown out for not being good enough.
The best meta-analyses of ivermectin that were done threw out some large poorly done studies that incorrectly showed ivermectin was very effective and because of that, they arrived at the correct answer which is that ivermectin doesn’t work at all for COVID-19.
Thank God we have reputable researchers who can be trusted to select only the good studies from all the studies that were done.
Why were there so many low-quality studies of ivermectin? Well, it takes millions of dollars to fund good quality studies that pass muster at the top medical journals, which is why good studies are usually only done by large pharmaceutical companies with billion-dollar balance sheets.
The pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money to get those good studies into all the top medical journals and then spend a lot more money to have them mailed out to all the doctors in the US so they know that a top-notch study was published. The medical journals also make a lot of money publishing these studies and providing reprints. Some of them make millions of dollars a year doing that.
The pharmaceutical companies then make billions of dollars selling the medications that were proven to work by their top-notch studies.
Our healthcare system doesn’t have a good way to study old drugs that might work for new conditions, because there isn’t much money to be made in selling off-label, off-patent drugs.
But sometimes a pharmaceutical company figures out a way to make it work. One example is colchicine. It has lots of side effects that limit its use, but it was still used off label for gout for 30 years because gout is extremely painful and patients are willing to put up with lots of bad side effects when it means they won’t be in excruciating pain.
An enterprising pharmaceutical company came along about 10 years back and spent many millions of dollars to prove to the FDA that colchicine really did work for gout by publishing some good quality studies.
After colchicine was approved, the company was able to jack up the price a whole lot. This was great for the companies stock price and the shareholders, but for people with gout, it wasn’t that great, especially if the drug wasn’t covered by their insurance and they had to pay out of pocket 10 times more than they used to pay.
Still, it was all worth it because the drug was FDA approved for gout after being used off-label for 30 years!
Anyway getting back to the topic at hand, the long and short of it is that according to the CDC and FDA ivermectin is too dangerous to use for COVID-19.
I can’t say it enough: stay away from this drug. It could kill you if you overdose on it (don’t forget to avoid overdosing on water too).
If you catch COVID-19 you should strictly follow the CDC guidelines: stay home and isolate yourself, unless you can’t breathe, in which case you should go to the hospital. If your oxygen level turns out OK they will usually send you back home, even if you still feel like you can’t breathe.
But not to worry you can try laying on your belly and taking deep breaths, it’s called “pruning” and some people say it helps you get air to the back of your lungs and helps you feel better. It hasn’t been put through any good-quality studies to prove it works though, so you could say it’s an off-label breathing technique, but that’s OK because you don’t need a prescription for a breathing technique. As long as you don’t do something silly like overeating which could cause you to throw up and choke while you’re laying on your belly you should be fine.
If you have a fever while you have COVID-19 you can take Tylenol, which although it is not approved for COVID-19 specifically, is approved for fevers. You have to be careful with Tylenol though, as it’s the leading cause of liver failure in the US. That makes it a pretty dangerous drug, but it’s OK because it’s FDA approved for fevers, so just be sure you have a fever and then take it according to the directions and be careful that you don’t take other combo cold medications that have Tylenol in them and inadvertently end up overdosing on Tylenol and giving yourself a liver failure.
Also just so you know, if you happen to have scabies while you have COVID-19 then it actually would be safe to take Ivermectin, otherwise you should never consider it because it’s not approved for COVID-19 and it is dangerous at high doses used by some disreputable physicians.
Scabies is not dangerous at all, but it is really really itchy and severely annoying. It’s OK to use ivermectin for scabies even though it’s off label, because it might work for scabies based on 2 small studies that were done once upon a time, and doctors have seen that when they give ivermectin to someone with scabies they tend to get better pretty fast and if they don’t give it for scabies they don’t get better at all. So in this case we can trust physicians’ judgment even without good studies to back it up because scabies isn’t life-threatening.
Some doctors mistakenly think they see similar patterns with off-label medications like ivermectin used for COVID-19.
But those doctors are wrong and the CDC is right.
So spread the word far and wide. Tell everyone you know and love to avoid ivermectin like the plague and if you or a loved one has been harmed by one of those evil online doctors that are writing 88,000 prescriptions of ivermectin every week for COVID-19, do your civic duty and rat them out to your state medical board immediately!