Ivermectin animal products not approved for COVID-19 in humans

The Nevada State Veterinarian is warning against unapproved use of ivermectin animal products, can lead to shortages


Ciara Ressel
Public Information Officer
Sparks, Nev. - September 16, 2021

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) is warning against the human use of ivermectin animal products. Veterinary formulations of ivermectin can vary greatly and have not been proven safe or effective in humans.

“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported that ivermectin animal products are being purchased for the unapproved treatment or prevention of COVID-19,” said NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Amy Mitchell. “Concerns about COVID-19 should be discussed with a physician or healthcare center.”

On Aug. 30, the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine sent a letter to veterinarians and animal product retailers informing them of serious illness caused by consuming ivermectin formulations meant for horses, cattle and sheep. Ivermectin in human or veterinary formulations have not been approved for use as COVID-19 treatment or prevention.

The FDA stated in this letter that “treating human medical conditions with veterinary drugs can be very dangerous. The drug may not work at all, or it could worsen the illness and/or lead to serious, potentially life-threatening health complications.”

Additionally, the improper use of ivermectin animal products is causing a shortage for animals that need it. Officials received reports of local shortages of some veterinary-use approved ivermectin products.

“Veterinarians are reporting difficulty in obtaining veterinary formulations of ivermectin,” said Dr. Mitchell. “This creates barriers for veterinarians in providing necessary animal medical care.”

Veterinarians are encouraged to report shortages in veterinary-use approved ivermectin products to AnimalDrugShortages@fda.hhs.gov. Individuals concerned about the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 are encouraged to discuss options with their health care providers. Visit nvhealthresponse.nv.gov for more information on COVID-19 in Nevada.

About the Nevada Department of Agriculture

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) mission is to preserve, protect and promote Nevada’s agriculture. The department has 150 dedicated employees providing services in its five divisions, Administration, Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition, and Plant Industry. The department’s $232 million budget facilitates regulatory and administrative work in agriculture and food manufacturing industries, protecting public and environmental health and worker safety, and providing food distribution and oversight for the United States Department of Agriculture’s school and community nutrition programs.