LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. — Concerns are growing among medical professionals over reports of people using horse medication to try and treat symptoms of COVID-19.
Glen Belanger knows all about ivermectrin.
"We’ve been selling it for years," Belanger said. "Strictly to horse owners. Basically it’s a de-wormer."
Belanger works at British Feed and Supplies in Loxahatchee and also knows it’s pretty hard for feed stores to get these days.
"It's on back order, been on back order for a couple months now," Belanger said.
Several feed stores were contacted in Palm Beach County. While they wouldn’t talk on camera, they tell WPTV there’s been a run on the horse medication, not by horse owners, but by people who are looking to use it themselves to treat COVID-19.
"The dose given to animals which people are obtaining from vets and horse feed or whatever are toxic," said Dr. Larry Bush, an infectious disease specialist in Wellington. "They're huge amount of doses. It could harm you and zero evidence it can help you."
Bush points out there is a ivermectin for humans, but there’s been no evidence its helps with COVID.
A recent Contact 5 investigation did reveal some who believe human ivermectiin does help with COVID, but with free vaccinatons and free antibody treatments now proven and widely available, it's puzzling to many doctors why some would turn to a parasite medicine.
"What I fear is that its use will continue in the absence of reliable evidence," said Dr. Charles Hennekens at Florida Atlantic University.
And even more puzzling is why some may think the ivermectin for horses would be used.
"I would obviously not recommend them to do that," Bush said.