Despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Texas Department of State Health Services, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, speaking at the Texas Youth Conference on Friday, touted ivermectin in conjunction with other drugs as a treatment for COVID-19.
“I don’t know if ya’ll saw but a month after President Trump left office, the American Journal of Medicine came out with a great article that they had discovered a regimen of medication that when taken together early in COVID that – you may have heard of it: hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, Z-Pak, azithromycin, zinc,” Rep. Gohmert said to applause.
Just a day prior, DSHS issued the following warning concerning ivermectin:
“DSHS has issued a health alert about the improper use of ivermectin. It cannot treat viral infections like COVID-19 and can hurt you.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved ivermectin in both people and animals for some parasitic worms and for head lice and skin conditions. The FDA has not approved its use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans.
“Using any treatment for COVID-19 that’s not approved or authorized by the FDA, unless part of a clinical trial, can cause serious harm,” the FDA said in a warning about the drug.
The Texas Poison Center Network has received a 150% increase in calls related to ivermectin exposure from July to August.
Since Jan. 1, TPCN has received 159 ivermectin exposure calls, three times more than the 48 calls received in 2020.
DSHS says ivermectin should only be used when prescribed by doctors and taken exactly as prescribed. Side effects of the medication include rash, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and stomach pain.
If mixed with other medications, taking ivermectin can lead to dizziness, seizures, low blood pressure, coma and even death.
Despite touting the drug cocktail, Rep. Gohmert remains skeptical of vaccines.
“I am so thrilled that Donald Trump was president when we needed vaccine. And he got the government out of the way enough so they could develop some vaccine very quickly,” Gohmert said. “The trouble is, these vaccines, they were only approved for emergency use. Now you have Pfizer that’s been approved, but there’s so much long term that they don’t know.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.