Caution about Laboratory COVID-19 Report

News article

08 April 2020

The Ministry of Health is aware of a media report describing a laboratory study that shows Ivermectin, a macrocyclic lactone medicine used to treat parasitic infections as being an effective treatment for COVID-19.

The study being reported is based on lab tests being conducted in petri dishes and the results are achieved using a very high dose of the drug that has not been tested on people. There is no evidence that the compound has any efficacy against Covid-19 in humans.

The Ministry of Health strongly recommends the public do not buy and treat themselves with Ivermectin for Covid-19.

When ingested in high doses, Ivermectin can have a serious effect on humans, with symptoms including low blood pressure, worsening asthma, severe autoimmune disorders, seizures and liver damage.

The Ministry of Health’s guidelines still stand around COVID-19. If you have any of the following symptoms and have recently been overseas, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor immediately.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are: 

  • a cough 
  • a high temperature (at least 38°C) 
  • shortness of breath. 
  • sore throat 
  • sneezing and runny nose 
  • temporary loss of smell 

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. 
Our advice is under active review and is updated regularly. 

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