Is it true that the Malaysia Ministry of Health now allows hospitals to use ivermectin “off-label” against COVID-19?
Take a look at the viral message, and find out what the FACTS really are!
Claim : Hospitals Now Allowed To Use Ivermectin To Treat COVID-19!
This is the viral message that is circulating on WhatsApp, with a link to a FreeMalaysiaToday article, called “Hospitals can apply for ‘off-label use’ of Ivermectin, says health ministry“.
Truth : Hospitals Has To APPLY To Use Ivermectin To Treat COVID-19!
The viral message is using an actual FMT article to convey a FALSE narrative. Here are the FACTS…
Fact #1 : Hospitals Have To APPLY To Use Ivermectin To Treat COVID-19
The Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) did not “allow” hospitals to use ivermectin as an “off-label” treatment of COVID-19.
They only said that hospitals can APPLY to the Drug Control Agency (DCA) for the “off-label” use of ivermectin.
KKM also said that the use of off-label medication “must be done in a monitored environment“.
Fact #2 : Off-Label Application Has Long Existed
The ability for hospitals to apply for off-label use of medications have long existed.
This permission to apply for off-label use isn’t something new, or exclusive to ivermectin.
Fact #3 : Patient Consent Is Also Required
As off-label use of medicine can be detrimental to the patient, it is important for the doctor to inform the patient of the risks and obtain his/her consent.
The treating physician in the hospital is required to fully explain the risks to the patient, who must then consent to the off-label use of the medication before it can be administered.
The signed consent form is then kept as part of the patient’s record.
Fact #4 : Ivermectin Mechanism Of Action Has Not Been Determined
The person who wrote the fake message claimed that ivermectin acts against COVID-19 in 3 ways. Its mechanism of action is currently unconfirmed.
It has been PROPOSED that ivermectin acts by these mechanisms :
- inhibiting the host cell’s importin alpha/beta-1 nuclear transport proteins
- interfering with the attachment of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein
- exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties
There is no evidence that ivermectin will disrupt virus replication, which occurs after the cell is infected.
There is also no evidence that ivermectin will “flush out the viral debris”, or that it is the dead virus that causes a cytokine storm.
And there is also no evidence that the (proposed) anti-inflammatory properties of ivermectin can heal tissue damage.
Fact #5 : COVID-19 Breathing Difficulties Caused By Pneumonia + ARDS
The fake news writer claims that ivermectin helps to “ease the air duct congestion“. It suggests that he/she falsely believes that COVID-19 creates asthma-like breathing difficulties.
Breathing difficulty in COVID-19 is caused by pneumonia and/or ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome).
COVID-19 causes damage to the blood vessels, causing them to fluid into your lungs. The fluid fills the air sacs in your lungs, which limits their ability to take in oxygen.
You start getting breathless and ARDS develops, leaving you unable to breathe on your own. This is when you require oxygen support, or mechanical ventilation.
Fact #6 : Ivermectin Has Not Been Proven To Work Against COVID-19
Ivermectin has been shown to work against COVID-19 in vitro studies (labs studies), but does NOT improve clinical outcomes or prevent transmission.
- June 2021 study in The Lancet : No improvement in symptoms or clinical outcomes with triple-dose ivermectin
- February 2021 study in The Lancet : No difference in transmissibility with double-dose ivermectin.
That is why the WHO and practically the vast majority of health authorities around the world do NOT advocate using ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.
Fact #7 : Ivermectin Has Not Been Tested Against COVID-19 Variants
The fake news writer claims that with ivermectin “all those scary new variants don’t have to be scary anymore.”
What he/she left out was the fact that ivermectin has NOT been tested against COVID-19 variants!
On the other hand, vaccines are being tested against COVID-19 variants, and we know that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines offer robust protection against the Alpha and Delta variants.
Fact #8 : Ivermectin Isn’t Necessarily Safe
The fake news writer claimed that “In 30 years of using ivermectin for humans, there have been minimal reports of adverse reactions.”
That’s probably because no one has been stupid enough to self-medicate using ivermectin!
In February 2021, Julie Weber, President of the American Association of Poison Control Centers and the director of the Missouri Poison Center warned that people are getting poisoned by fake COVID-19 cures like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.
The Missouri Poison Center also issued a warning :
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