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‘We have to let it go’ - Doctors say Ivermectin will not help treat COVID-19

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Local doctors are working to dispel a few myths about certain medicines, some folks think can help them treat COVID-19.

You’ve probably heard of Ivermectin, it’s used for the treatment of some parasitic worms in people. But can it help you beat the coronavirus?

Last summer, there was a lot of talk about if hydroxychloroquine, could be used to lessen your COVID symptoms.

“Is this the hydroxychloroquine of 2021?” questioned WAFB’s Lester Duhe’.

“It is. It’s hung on,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal of LSU Health. She is also the Chief Medical Officer at Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge.

Dr. O’Neal says she uses Ivermectin to treat people at the hospital.

“I use ivermectin when people come in and I diagnose them with a worm. So, if you have worms if you have parasites in your body, which is fairly rare for the United States, although we see those in other countries,” said Dr. O’Neal.

Ivermectin is also FDA approved for use in animals to prevent heartworm disease.

Dr. O’Neal says, while Ivermectin does have some antiviral properties, the latest studies show it doesn’t work against the coronavirus.

“Through the Spring we got better data. That says it doesn’t. So, now we have to let it go. We’ve tried lots of things during this pandemic, some have worked, some have not. Ivermectin doesn’t work,” said Dr. O’Neal.

Dr. Aldo Russo over at Ochsner Baton Rouge agrees.

“It appeared to have some sort of effect on the virus in-vitro, meaning in the lab. Now when the research continued in humans with COVID-19, the medication was not beneficial at all,” said Dr. Aldo Russo, Regional Medical Director for Ochsner Baton Rouge.

62-year-old Louisiana resident Darleen Asevedo died Saturday while struggling with the coronavirus from home. Her daughter, Kortney, says her mom was not vaccinated and was taking Ivermectin.

“Everybody has given me different information about what she should’ve been doing. Everybody is wrong,” said Kortney Asevedo.

“You’re seeing patients with COVID-19 come into your hospital, saying they used Ivermectin as a treatment?” questioned Lester Duhe’.

“Yeah, over the past 20 months, we have seen people that have taken Ivermectin that was prescribed to animals, and try to use it to prevent or even treat COVID,” said Dr. Russo.

These doctors say getting the shot is your best protection against COVID for now.

“It is the saddest thing to have somebody come in and say, but I was taking my Ivermectin. And have to admit them to a hospital, put them on a breathing machine, when we have great prevention. And that is the vaccine,” said Dr. Russo.

If you do have COVID or think you do, check with your doctor to see what they recommend for treatment.

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