Is ivermectin safe for people with diabetes?

You may have heard a lot about the drug ivermectin in the news over the past few years. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), many people have gone against medical advice and taken this antiparasitic drug as a treatment for COVID-19.

People who are worried about new variants of COVID-19 may wonder if they can take ivermectin when living with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

This article will describe what ivermectin is, how it should be used, and whether or not you should take the drug to treat COVID-19, especially if you are living with T1D.

Ivermectin is an oral prescription-only medication used to treat parasites. Can treat internal infections caused by roundworms, threadworms and other parasites that are contracted by eating undercooked meat or drinking contaminated water.

In addition, the drug can treat several tropical diseases, including onchocerciasis, helminthiasis and scabies.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved ivermectin for use in animals. It can prevent heartworm disease in some small breeds and treat some internal and external parasites in various animals.

A 1997 papers discussed the safety of the drug, noting that researchers did not find that ivermectin caused more deaths in animals or people when used as prescribed.

However, ivermectin is not FDA approved for the treatment of any viral disease, including COVID-19.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, some people have shared that they have taken ivermectin to try to treat their COVID-19 symptoms. This is due to the belief that the drug is safe and effective.

A study 2020 showed that ivermectin could inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell cultures. However, another study 2020 suggests that obtaining the plasma concentrations necessary for this effect detected in vitro would require doses up to 100 times higher than those approved for use in humans.

This makes it a dangerous way to treat COVID-19 and a tactic that goes against all professional medical advice.

You may be prescribed this medicine for the treatment of a parasite, such as roundworms or roundworms, or a tropical disease, such as onchocerciasis, helminthiasis or scabies. If so, make sure your healthcare professional knows you have diabetes.

A small study from 2015 showed that having type 2 diabetes (T2DM) specifically can make ivermectin less effective in treating parasitic diseases.

Always mention any type of diabetes you have if you receive a prescription for ivermectin. Remember that taking ivermectin without the advice of a licensed healthcare professional or taking ivermectin intended for animals is dangerous.

The drug itself should not impact people with diabetes the way insulin or steroids impact blood sugar. Insulin can lower glucose, while steroids can raise glucose.

Older research of a 2006 study indicates that the drug improved hyperglycemia levels in diabetic mice, and a 2013 study indicates that it improves metabolic function in mice. Of course, mice in research don’t always translate to the same effect in humans.

In general, common side effects of taking ivermectin can include:

  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • loss of energy
  • abdominal pain

These side effects are not specific to diabetes, but each can affect how you manage your diabetes. For example, they might prevent you from eating or taking your insulin or diabetes medication as instructed.

Ivermectin should not be used for the treatment of COVID-19.

In the FDA warning, they state that they are concerned about the health and well-being of people who may self-medicate while taking ivermectin intended for animals.

Drugs intended for animals can cause serious bodily harm when taken by humans. Additionally, the FDA is concerned about people who take ivermectin without the advice of a licensed healthcare professional. This guidance is necessary for the intended use of ivermectin to treat parasites and rare tropical diseases.

Many people have mistakenly thought that taking ivermectin helped their COVID-19 symptoms. In reality, these people had undiagnosed parasites. Having parasites makes it harder to recover from viral illnesses, such as COVID-19.

Taking ivermectin cured people of their parasites, meaning they were able to recover better from COVID-19. But a 2021 review showed that ivermectin was not directly effective in treating COVID-19. It also did not reduce hospital stays or mortality.

The FDA warns that people who self-medicate with drugs like ivermectin may delay or negate seeking professional emergency medical help for symptoms of COVID-19. This can lead to increased hospitalizations, severe episodes of COVID-19, and deaths.

Seek emergency medical attention if you have self-medicated with ivermectin without the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

Ivermectin is a prescription-only oral drug used to treat parasites and rare tropical diseases in humans and parasitic infections in small breed animals. The FDA has warned against using this drug to treat COVID-19.

People with T1D can be negatively affected by the side effects of the drug. It may also not work as well for treating parasites in people with T2D.

Ivermectin showed enhanced glucose response and improved metabolic function in clinically controlled environments in diabetic mice. But it’s still unclear whether these improvements can also be seen in people with diabetes.

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