Don’t Self-Medicate! Leave Experimental COVID Treatments to your Doctor

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Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Yes, I get it. COVID is kind of scary, especially if you or somebody you care about is in a higher risk group. But there’s a growing problem: People taking candidate COVID drugs without medical supervision. There are two particular drugs that are causing problems.

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine

This is Donald Trump’s pet candidate drug. There was some early evidence that a combination of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine could help COVID patients in combination with another drug, azithromycin. More recent trials, however, have shown little benefit and one Swiss hospital has stopped using it because of severe side effects.

Trump, however, keeps touting the drug as a gamechanger. This has resulted in at least one person drinking fish-tank cleaner (no kidding) containing the chemical in an attempt to self-medicate.

First of all, don’t drink fish tank cleaner!

Second of all, chloroquine has a number of side effects, some of which can be serious. It’s also contraindicated for people with heart problems; and heart problems are a strong risk factor for severe illness. It’s also possible COVID-19 itself may cause or worsen heart problems.

Some doctors are still using the drug, but it seems unlikely to prove to be a treatment. In the interim, don’t take it. Please.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Ivermectin is another drug that’s being mentioned as a candidate against COVID. If it pans out it would be taken at symptom onset to prevent more severe illness. It has an inhibitory action against the virus in vitro, but has yet to be tested in vivo.

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic that’s used as both a topical and oral treatment for head lice, and in Africa to treat river blindness.

However, the primary uses of ivermectin in the west are veterinary, and herein comes the problem.

Ivermectin is horse wormer.

Now, ivermectin is also used to treat heartworm and other parasites in dogs.

But it’s horse wormer.

And people have been buying horse wormer from feed supply stores…some stores are now refusing to sell it to anyone who hasn’t bought it from them before.

I haven’t heard of anyone self-medicating with horse wormer yet, but.

You most likely weigh somewhere between 100 and 200 pounds. Even if you’re obese, you aren’t over 300 pounds.

A medium-sized horse weighs 1,000 to 1,200 pounds.

The dosage of ivermectin in horse wormer is sufficient to kill you. Or make you go blind. Permanently. To give some idea, women have had miscarriages from touching Regumate, a drug used as an ovulation suppressor in equines (basically, horsey birth control).

So please. Don’t buy horse wormer and then take it when you get a cough…

Nobody should be trying to self medicate.

And especially not with fish tank cleaner or horse wormer…

Written by

Freelance writer, freelance editor, novelist and short story writer. Jack of many trades.

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