KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Two people in Malaysia who took the yet-to-be-approved antiparasitic drug Ivermectin have suffered acute poisoning, the Health Ministry announced today.
One was a 35-year-old who had breathing difficulties that lasted five days after consuming one Ivermectin pill.
The other was a senior citizen who was found in an unconscious state, supposedly after consuming 15 Ivermectin pills in one sitting.
Both cases were reported to the National Poisons Centre, the ministry said.
It cautioned against taking the drug as a form of self-treatment against Covid-19.
“To date, Ivermectin has yet to obtain approval for its usage as a treatment or prevention of Covid-19 in Malaysia. Yet, it was found that the illicit sale of these drugs existed in the market.
“Intake of yet-to-be approved Ivermectin medication at incorrect dosages can cause poisoning,” the ministry said in a statement.
It warned that minor side effects of Ivermectin consumption included nausea, giddiness, diarrhoea and stomach discomfort.
Severe side effects can cause low blood pressure, lung damage and even death.
The ministry said there is currently no antidote or specific treatment for Ivermectin poisoning in humans to date.
To date no worldwide health body has approved the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19 or as preventive measures, and countries which have previously allowed it like India have since retracted their decisions.
In Malaysia, the drug is being pushed among others by those opposed to the vaccines, alternative medicine practitioners, and some Muslim consumer groups.
Previously, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry would conduct clinical trials on 500 patients to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of Ivermectin.