A further 1,423 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Ireland, while it has emerged that one person has been hospitalised this year after using ivermectin to treat the disease.
Ivermectin is a drug used to treat parasitic infections in humans and horses, and has been widely touted as a cure for Covid-19 despite little evidence supporting the claim.
There have been two reports of poisonings of ivermectin made to the Irish Poisons Information Centre so far this year, according to The Irish Times.
Both reports relate to the same patient who was hospitalised after taking the drug to treat Covid-19.
Over the summer, there was a 3,000 per cent increase in seizures of the drug by health officials.
Last week, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) said almost 5,000 units of the drug were seized between July 2020 and July 2021. There were just 158 units seized in the previous 12 months.
A spokeswoman for the HPRA said ivermectin products bought online are “likely to be illegal or falsified (fake) and could be harmful” to people’s health.
The Irish Poisons Information Centre, based in Beaumont Hospital, provides a 24-hour service to doctors and healthcare professionals to assist them in the management of acute poisoning.
In previous years, the centre has received occasional reports of ivermectin poisoning but these have related to mainly farmers accidentally ingesting the substance.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has reviewed available evidence on the use of the drug for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 and concluded that the available data does not support its use for Covid-19 outside well-designed clinical trials.
Ivermectin-containing medicines are not authorised for use for Covid-19 in the European Union, it has said.