AppHealthCare has issued a warning about the use of a particular treatment for COVID-19.

In a release Tuesday, AppHealthCare inclcuded a statement from NCDHHS about growing public interest for the antiparasitic drug ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment option.

Ivermectin tablets are approved for use in humans for the treatment of some parasitic worms, and some topical formulations for the treatment of headlice and skin conditions such as rosacea, but is primarily used in animals for prevention of heartworm disease and for treatment of certain parasites.

It is important to note that ivermectin is not approved or authorized for preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals. NC DHHS notes increased prescriptions for ivermectin as well as an increase in poison control calls and visits to the Emergency Departments due to incorrect usage.

Signs and symptoms of ivermectin toxicity include gastrointestinal effects (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea), headache, blurred vision, dizziness, tachycardia, hypotension, visual hallucinations, altered mental status, confusion, loss of coordination and balance, central nervous system depression, and seizures.

AppHealthCare urges the community to not use medications or drugs like ivermectin that are not intended to be used for preventing or treating COVID-19, which could lead to harmful effects. Monoclonal antibodies are authorized by the FDA as a treatment for COVID-19. The best prevention of COVID-19 are the vaccines so we urge those who are unvaccinated to get a vaccine. The vaccines are safe, effective and continue to help prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death.