Coronavirus in United States: judge orders administration of ivermectin to patient

An Ohio judge forced a hospital to administer ivermectin to a patient with Covid-19. This pest control, whose effectiveness is not recognized, is promoted by many policies.

Its effectiveness against the virus has still not been proven. An American hospital was forced by the courts to deliver ivermectin to a Covid-19 patient , an antiparasitic popular in certain circles.

The decision of an Ohio judge last week is part of a series of judgments favorable to relatives of patients against hospitals reluctant to use the product which has been the subject of  warnings from health authorities .

In this case, Julie Smith, a resident of the suburbs of Cincinnati, had obtained that a doctor prescribe ivermectin to her husband Jeffrey, hospitalized in intensive care. Faced with the hospital’s refusal to issue this product, she took legal action on August 20 with the help of a lawyer who won comparable claims in New York and Chicago. Judge Gregory Howard ordered the hospital to comply with the order: either to administer 30 mg of ivermectin per day for three weeks to his patient.

Inconclusive results

Ivermectin is  a drug widely used by veterinarians , but which also has human use against parasites, such as scabies and lice. Since the start of the health crisis, studies have been conducted to see if this inexpensive drug could help fight Covid-19. Despite encouraging preliminary laboratory studies, the tests carried out at this stage are inconclusive.

A US woman has won a court order for a hospital in Ohio to treat her husband, who is on a ventilator with Covid-19, with the antiparasitic medicine ivermectin, as demand surges for the unproven coronavirus treatment.

The case is one of several nationwide where courts have sided with litigants seeking to use the drug, despite scant evidence of its effectiveness against Covid and a rise in calls to poison centers as a result of misuse, including ingesting livestock-strength formulations.

Judge Gregory Howard ordered West Chester Hospital, located outside Cincinnati, to treat Julie Smith’s husband Jeffrey Smith with ivermectin, according to an order filed August 23.

Smith had received a prescription from physician Fred Wagshul, who is listed on the website for a group called “Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance” that advocates for use of ivermectin.

She is being represented by lawyer Ralph Lorigo, who has won similar cases in New York and Chicago.

Since the start of the Covid pandemic, there has been considerable interest in repurposing existing medications.

Ivermectin attracted much attention, particularly in Latin America, and early lab studies suggested it might have beneficial properties for fighting the coronavirus.

But, as is often the case, promise in lab settings has so far failed to translate to real world success, as judged by its lack of clear efficacy in trials.

The National Institutes of Health says there is not enough evidence “either for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19” until clear results become available from rigorous trials.

Ivermectin is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat people with certain conditions caused by parasitic worms, but the agency has warned people against using it for Covid.

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that by mid-August, physicians were writing out more than 88,000 prescriptions of the drug per week — well above the pre-pandemic baseline of 3,600.

Poison control centers have seen a three-fold increase in the number of calls for ivermectin overdoses.

One case involved an adult drinking an injectable ivermectin formulation intended for cattle and becoming hospitalized for nine days with confusion, drowsiness, hallucinations, rapid breathing and tremors.

Another person bought ivermectin of unknown strength from the internet, took it five times a day for five days, and presented to hospital disoriented and unable to answer questions or follow commands. The symptoms improved after they discontinued use.

The popularity of ivermectin against Covid has drawn comparisons to a hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that was particularly favored by conservatives last year, despite no strong evidence of real world efficacy.

High-profile proponents include Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, as well as Republican Senator Ron Johnson.

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