Westmead Hospital toxicologist warns: “Don’t rely on online sham cures for COVID-19”

Ivermectin is a generic anti-parasitic medication that has not been proven to treat COVID-19.

Have you heard about the drug that’s 100 per cent effective against COVID? That one that you’re not allowed to know about?

Unfortunately you may need a dose of reality before you end up in hospital, according to Westmead Hospital toxicologist Associate Professor Naren Gunja.

A COVID-positive person is recovering at home after presenting to Westmead Hospital’s emergency department with vomiting and diarrhoea recently – not due to COVID but from an overdose of the drug ivermectin and other supposed COVID “cures” they ordered online.

Associate Professor Naren Gunja

“Thankfully they didn’t develop severe toxicity but it didn’t help their COVID either,” Associate Professor Gunja said.

“There’s no evidence to support the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19. Don’t look for magic cures online, and don’t rely on what’s being peddled on the internet, because none of them work.”

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic medication mainly used for farm animals that has not been proven to treat COVID-19, and like all medicines, can be dangerous if used incorrectly.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) released a warning against self-medicating with ivermectin after a tenfold increase in Australians importing the drug last month.

Associate Professor Gunja said Westmead Hospital has seen a range of presentations from people trying to treat COVID with dangerous substances including hydroxychloroquine, disinfectants, bleach and alcohols.

“If you’ve taken ivermectin and you feel unwell, call the poison information hotline on 13 11 26 and always call triple zero (000) in an emergency,” Associate Professor Gunja advised.

The good news is that proven treatments are available in hospital for those that need them, and vaccination is the best and safest way to protect yourself and your family against severe illness from COVID-19.

Thousands of appointments are available every day at Qudos Bank Arena Vaccination Centre for people aged 16-49 from areas of concern. Book your appointment today.

For more information on vaccination in NSW, go to nsw.gov.au/covid-19.