Monday, April 11, 2022

How Serious is the Ivermectin Overdose Problem?

 There is this 9/4/21 NPR report:

According to the National Poison Data System (NPDS), which collects information from the nation's 55 poison control centers, there was a 245% jump in reported exposure cases from July to August — from 133 to 459.

Even a single case is a bad thing, but 459 overdoses in a nation of 320 million people is not dramatic.  From 12/2/21 New England Journal of Medicine:

The Oregon Poison Center is a telephone consultative center staffed by specialty-trained nurses, pharmacists, and physicians who provide treatment advice for the public and comprehensive treatment consultation for health care workers caring for patients in Oregon, Alaska, and Guam. The center has recently received an increasing number of calls regarding ivermectin exposure related to Covid-19. The rate of calls regarding ivermectin had been 0.25 calls per month in 2020 and had increased to 0.86 calls per month from January through July 2021; in August 2021, the center received 21 calls. Monthly total call volumes for all poison exposures were stable throughout 2020 and 2021.

Again, a troubling increase but relative to other causes of illness (e.g., COVID-19), this is pretty minor. 

Of the 21 persons who called in August, 11 were men, and most were older than 60 years of age (median age, 64; range, 20 to 81). Approximately half (11 persons) were reported to have used ivermectin to prevent Covid-19, and the remaining persons had been using the drug to treat Covid-19 symptoms. Three persons had received prescriptions from physicians or veterinarians, and 17 had purchased veterinary formulations; the source of ivermectin for the remaining person was not confirmed. Symptoms had developed in most persons within 2 hours after a large, single, first-time dose. In 6 persons, symptoms had developed gradually after several days to weeks of repeated doses taken every other day or twice weekly. One person had also been taking vitamin D to treat or prevent Covid-19. Reported doses ingested by the persons who had been using veterinary products ranged from 6.8 mg to 125 mg of 1.87% paste and 20 to 50 mg of the 1% solution. The dose of the human-use tablets was 21 mg per dose twice weekly for prevention.[emphasis added]

So 3 of those 21 cases were prescribed in human doses.  Note that the widely claimed suppository use of ivermectin by the deplorable rubes does not appear.

Six of the 21 persons were hospitalized for toxic effects from ivermectin use; all 6 reported preventive use, including the 3 who had obtained the drug by prescription. Four received care in an intensive care unit, and none died. Symptoms were gastrointestinal distress in 4 persons, confusion in 3, ataxia and weakness in 2, hypotension in 2, and seizures in 1. Of the persons who were not admitted to a hospital, most had gastrointestinal distress, dizziness, confusion, vision symptoms, or rash.

These are definitely ugly side effects, but they are not the life-threatening symptoms of COVID-19.  If ivermectin is ineffective against COVID-19 (as FDA claims), it represents an individualized consequence for experimental stupidity.  The widely reported (and I presume, highly shared) story of Oklahoma hospitals backed up by ivermectin overdoses turned out to be false.  But if it is widely shared on social media, for many people it becomes evidence of widespread anti-scientism.

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