(CNN) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s seeing an alarming number of prescriptions for a drug used to fight parasites in animals.
According to the CDC, false claims that the drug ivermectin can be used to treat COVID-19 are driving up prescriptions.
It’s primarily used by veterinarians to deworm large animals like horses and cows.
Sometimes it’s used for lice or parasites in humans.
Doctors investigated the possibility of using the anti-parasitic drug to fight COVID, but clinical trials yielded insufficient evidence.
At the beginning of the year, the CDC said fewer than 4,000 prescriptions were being written per week. They are now a whopping 88,000.
It’s also prompting a huge increase in calls to poison control centers and visits to understaffed emergency rooms.
The Food and Drug Administration is cautioning people against using ivermectin to treat COVID-19.
Overdoses can cause stomach problems, nerve damage, seizures, disorientation, coma and even death.
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