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Ivermectin causes sterilization in 85 percent of men, study finds

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Nevada Poison Control reports an increase in calls for people who say they were exposed to ivermectin as doctors and the government warn its usage is not approved to treat COVID-19. (KLAS)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The effects of Ivermectin therapy on human males can have an effect on men’s reproductive health.

Researchers at three universities in Nigeria studied the effects of Ivermectin, which is used to treat river blindness and other medical conditions in humans, on men’s sperm counts. According to their study, 85 percent of men who take Ivermectin become sterilized.

Ivermectin is often used as an anthelmintic to combat parasites in animals and some people have been using it to fight COVID-19 despite health experts’ recommendations against it.

The study conducted by researchers in Nigeria screened 385 patients with river blindness to investigate the effects of Ivermectin on sperm function.

The researchers found:

85 percent of all male patients treated in a particular centre with ivermectin in the recent past who went to the laboratory for routine tests were discovered to have developed various forms, grades and degrees of sperm dysfunction.

Dysfunctions include the following:

  • Low sperm count
  • Poor sperm morphology
    • Two heads
    • Tiny heads
    • Double tails
    • Absence of tails
    • Albino sperm cells 
  • Azoospermia, or the absence of motile sperm 
  • Poor sperm motility 

“There was a significant drop in the sperm counts of the patients after their treatment with Ivermectin,” the study’s authors concluded. 

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorized or approved Ivermectin for treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans or animals.

But across the country, people have been self-medicating using animal-grade Ivermectin.

“Never use medications intended for animals on yourself or other people. Animal Ivermectin products are very different from those approved for humans. Use of animal Ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in humans is dangerous,” reports the FDA.

Dr. Ogechika Alozie, infectious disease expert in El Paso, said to use tried-and-true methods of COVID-19 treatment.

“The reality is this: the things that we know work so far, dexamethasone, actemra, remdesivir in the hospital. Things that work before you go to the hospital like antibody infusions and the vaccines have loads more data than Ivermectin,” he said.

Clinical trials evaluating whether Ivermectin tablets can be used to treat COVID-19 are ongoing, but there is currently no data available to suggest efficacy in fighting the virus. 

Bottom line, vaccines are the best way to combat COVID-19.

“I get that people are scared, I get that people are worried,” said Alozie. “But it puzzles me that people would use something with such little data compared to something that has such great data and we know works.”

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