Ivermectin is used to treat parasites such as worms and lice in humans and it is also used by veterinarians to de-worm large animals.
On Thursday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued a health advisory warning doctors and the public about the “rapid increase” in prescriptions for the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin.
The CDC also cautions about an increase in reports of severe illness caused by the drug to poison centers.
Dr. Sanath Senanayake, senior lecturer in the Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo has said that some drugs are only prescribed for animals and would lead to disastrous situations when used by humans.
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Meanwhile, Prof. Ashoka Dangolla of the University of Peradeniya has said that although ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug, it is capable of combating viruses.