The Department of Health (DoH) on Monday insisted that the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin is not a preventive drug against Covid-19.
“Based on evidence, this drug doesn’t give you any benefit at all in preventing, in shortening the duration of your hospitalization or preventing the progression of your disease when you have Covid-19,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media briefing.
“The DoH is not recommending Ivermectin and we continue to remind the public against its use,” Vergeire added.
The statement came a day after the United States — Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning against the use of Ivermectin after receiving reports of people being poisoned after taking the drug.
“Even in other countries… and now the US-FDA (United States — Food and Drug Administration) has recommended against the use of this drug,” she added.
She also warned the public against the use of Ivermectin as it may induce harmful side effects in the human body.
“This drug has side effects that could be harmful to your body. So again, we want to remind the public to only take registered and recommended drugs to avoid harmful or adverse effects coming from these drugs,” she added.
Meanwhile, the health official noted that there were no reported cases of adverse effects in the distribution of two lawmakers of Ivermectin in Quezon City last April.
Last April, Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor and Sagip Partylist Rep. Rodante Marcoleta and a group of doctors from Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines distributed Ivermectin to some 35 “poorest of the poor” residents in Quezon City.
Defensor and his group have been urging the government to use this drug as a preventive and treatment drug against Covid-19.
Vergeire said the DoH will leave the legal actions against the lawmakers to the concerned agencies regarding the distribution of the anti-parasitic drug.
“We have discussed it with different agencies. We’ll leave it because it is still being processed,” she said.
The Philippine FDA only issued Compassionate Special Permits to several hospitals in the country to allow its use to treat Covid-19.