SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) has refuted false claims by local website Truth Warriors that anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin is safe and effective for treating Covid-19.
In a Facebook post on Friday night (Oct 15), it said Truth Warriors has also been posting unverified and potentially misleading information on Covid-19 and its vaccines.
"The Truth Warriors website has been carrying articles claiming that Ivermectin is safe and effective in treating Covid-19, and that various other countries have been using the drug for early treatment (of the virus) with high success rates," it added.
The ministry said Ivermectin is a prescription-only medicine registered only for the treatment of parasitic worm infections.
It added: "It is not an anti-viral medication and is not approved by the Health Sciences Authority for use in the prevention or treatment of Covid-19.
"To date, there is no scientific evidence from properly conducted clinic trials to demonstrate that Ivermectin is effective against Covid-19."
Truth Warriors had posted at least two articles on its website which contained separate claims that the use of Ivermectin to treat the virus is backed by experts and that the World Health Organisation is knowingly hiding information on the drug's effectiveness.
The articles cited the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance. The alliance began as a non-profit network of doctors trying to establish Covid-19 protocols in the early days of the pandemic, but has come under scrutiny for its affiliation with prominent anti-vaccine organisations.
MOH said there have been reports of people requiring hospitalisation after self-medicating with Ivermectin. It added: "Side effects can include vomiting, stomach pain, seizures, severe skin rash and liver injury."
On Oct 1, a 65-year-old retiree in Singapore fell violently ill and was hospitalised after taking Ivermectin on the advice of friends that it will protect her against Covid-19.
Madam Wong Lee Tak had taken four 3mg tablets of the drug over two days. According to her daughter, she suffered a 39.3 dec C fever, inflammation on her joints and would vomit violently after a meal.
Her condition stabilised a few days later.