Dr Timothy Geary (pictured) is one of the top experts on ivermectin and has researched the drug for over a decade
Ivermectin has been available for human use for three decades, but not until recently did its name become well known by many Americans.
The anti-parasite drug has been incorrectly deemed by some to be a potential treatment for COVID-19 after some misinterpreted a March 2020 study conducted in Australia.
In the time since, the drug has flown off of shelves, spurring the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue warnings about its misuse.
Many have also been purchasing dosages of the drug meant for animals – which are larger than what is safe for humans – leading to some getting sick from its effects.
Dr Timothy Geary is one of the world’s foremost experts of ivermectin, and has done research on the drug for over a decade.
Geary, who is the Research Chair in Parasite Biotechnology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, says that the study which spawned much of the ivermectin-craze is not being correctly read.
He told DailyMail.com that the study did show that ivermectin could inhibit the replication of COVID-19 virus cells, which is what many are reading from the study that makes them believe the drug has virus killing properties.
Geary explained, though, that the concentration of the drug used in the study were so high that it could not be used for treatment in a human, and would likely cause an overdose.
‘In that study they showed that in cell cultures, ivermectin could inhibit [Covid] replication, but the concentrations required for that effect were in a range called the micromolar range – very high concentrations relative to what you would find in the plasma of a treated person or an animal, which would be 20 to 50 times lower.’
‘At high concentrations in cell culture, many compounds can have all kinds of effects but when you look at what we would call pharmacological levels – what we actually see and treated patients – it is far higher than [what would be used in humans]
‘So the standard doses of ivermectin that we use for people are never going to reach the levels that would be effective in against the virus based on that one study.’
Dr Geary (pictured) said that ivermectin is safe for human consumption in standard doses, but using versions of the drug made for horses, sheep and other stock could cause a person serious side effects, and maybe even death
Ivermectin is an anti-parasite drug that has been FDA approved for use fighting certain conditions. It has not shown any effectiveness in combatting viruses in humans
He does not see too much harm in people using the drug in human-sized doses, though, as Geary assures that it is safe for consumption.
It is safe to use in doses of around 200 microliters, and even people who are using it to incorrectly treat Covid are unlikely to suffer any major symptoms.
‘There’s no significant toxicity from those doses,’ Geary says.
He also mentioned that the drug has been used billions of times in between humans and animals, and has never shown any ability to combat viruses outside of the laboratory.
The drug is FDA approved for use in humans – though for treatment for conditions like onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis instead of viruses – and is even available by prescription.
Prescriptions of the drug have even increased 24-fold from numbers before the pandemic.
Dr Jim Morris, a professor at the Eukaryotic Pathogens Innovation Center at Clemson University, in South Carolina, told DailyMail.com this is likely because many younger doctors are misinformed as well.
Morris also agrees that ivermectin can not treat COVID-19.
‘There’s no proven benefit whatsoever,’ he said.
Many Americans are purchasing ivermectin from feed stores, which can be dangerous as they are using dosages of the drug meant for animals that weigh over 1,000 pounds
Many Americans are facing problems with ivermectin because they are not using the versions of the drug prescribed by doctors.
Instead, many are finding their own over-the-counter solutions, most notably going to local feed stores and buying medicine meant for horses, cows and sheep.
Prescribed versions of the drug come in pill form, while these versions are liquid.
The dosages are also much larger, meant for an animal that can weigh over 1,000 pounds, not a person that can weight less than one-fifth of that.
Taking doses too large can cause a person to have nausea, body pains, diarrhea limb swelling and other serious side effects.
In more serious cases, a person could overdose and suffer severe damage to their central nervous system, and potentially even die.
Some conservative figures have called for the drug to be used in Covid treatment regimens, though.
Sen Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican and early proponent of the drug, had his YouTube channel suspended in June after claiming the drug could treat Covid.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have also promoted the drug as a treatment for the virus.
Sen Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said that the only reason further research was not being done into the drug’s effectiveness combatting Covid was due to hatred against former President Donald Trump.
‘[It] about as ridiculous as statements I can imagine,’ Geary said in response to Paul’s claims.
‘There is a reason people haven’t started [studies], there’s no reason to think it works.
‘There is no scientific justification for spending that money [on research].’
Geary recommends the COVID-19 vaccines to be combat the virus, as they have been proven safe and effective by regulators around the world, including the FDA.
‘I’ve worked in infectious diseases now for 45 years. As we know, stuff in the sciences is solid. There’s really no reason to fear the vaccines that are out there,’ he said.
‘There’s a lot of reason to fear the virus, it can cause significant illness.’
Geary also believes the ivermectin rush is part of a larger distrust in science that has cropped up in recent years.
‘I feel sorry that people have adopted the deal that they can’t trust [science] and that they have to look to unproven remedies that are just rumors,’ he said.
‘It really is unfortunate that our society has got to this point.’