ARGYLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Reports claiming that anti-parasite drug, Ivermectin, can treat or prevent COVID-19 have been gaining steam in recent months. The misinformation is causing a serious uptick in phone calls to the North Texas Poison Center and local feed stores.
The owners of Argyle Feed & Hardware in Argyle, Texas say they’ve been selling out of the drug every time it comes in for the past three months. They are receiving about 50 calls a day from customers searching for it. “Ivermectin is just flying off the shelves,” said Brynn Thomas, a store employee.
The drug is used to combat internal parasites, but requires a prescription. That’s why some are turning to purchase the veterinarian version for horses, cattle and swine despite an FDA warning that you should not take it to treat or prevent COVID-19 in any form.
Argyle Feed & Hardware has hung a sign by the paste version of the product they have in stock warning customers it is not for human consumption. Nonetheless, customers are still purchasing it for personal use.
Other similar stores are selling out of the products too. Handley Feed Store in Fort Worth says they sold $1,000 worth of the dewormer in just two days.
The North Texas Poison Center says data shows statewide, they’ve received 55 calls regarding ivermectin this month.
Last August, they had two calls.
“This data is telling us that people will unfortunately try anything they read online,” said Anelle Menendez, the Clinical Educator for the Center. “Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and if you start taking something really concentrated and more of it, then you’re going to see some of those nasty side effects and those can be neurological.”
That’s why they hope they can squash the rumor before more Ivermectin is sold. “People just need to stick to reliable sources,” Menendez said. “If they have any doubts, call us.”