New Mexico has linked two deaths in the state to the misuse of ivermectin to treat COVID-19, The Hill reported Sept. 27. The state reported the two deaths Sept. 22, according to the state health department. The two people who died were among 14 in the state who have been hospitalized for ivermectin poisoning, according to The Hill.
Ivermectin is a drug typically used to treat parasitic infections in animals. It is FDA-approved for humans at very specific doses for some parasitic worms, as well as some topical formulations for head lice and skin conditions, but it is not an antiviral.
The drug has been increasingly misused to treat and prevent COVID-19 in recent months, though the FDA has warned against it. Calls to poison control centers across the U.S. have been on the rise in recent months as some Americans have been self-administering ivermectin.
The two people who died from ivermectin poisoning were 38 and 79 years old, and both used the drug to try to treat COVID-19, The Hill reported. In one patient, the drug caused kidney failure, according to David Scrase, MD, acting head of the state’s health department.