Advisory on the use of ivermectin for COVID-19
Consumer, Healthcare professional, Therapeutic Products, General safety, Therapeutic products (medicines)
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is aware that there are members of the public trying to import or use ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019).
Ivermectin is a prescription-only medicine registered in Singapore only for the treatment of parasitic worm infections. It is not an anti-viral medicine and is not approved by HSA for use in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
To date, there is no scientific evidence from properly conducted clinical trials to prove that ivermectin is effective against COVID-19. There was a local study conducted by the National University Health System in 20201 to assess if existing registered medicines including ivermectin could help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and the study did not find any evidence suggesting that ivermectin has any effect on COVID-19.
Self-medicating with ivermectin can be dangerous to your health. Side-effects associated with ivermectin include vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, neurologic adverse events (dizziness, seizures, confusion), sudden drop in blood pressure, severe skin rash potentially requiring hospitalisation, and liver injury (hepatitis). Ivermectin can also interact with other medications used such as blood-thinners. There have been reports of patients requiring hospitalisation after self-medication with ivermectin.
Consumers are strongly advised not to self-medicate with ivermectin and to consult their doctor for proper treatment of COVID-19.
Only vaccines and treatments authorised by HSA have met the required safety, efficacy and quality standards. Please refer to HSA’s website for the vaccines and treatments that have been authorised for COVID-19.
Advisory to sellers and suppliers
HSA takes a serious view against those engaged in the illegal sale and supply of medicines, including ivermectin, and we will take strong enforcement action against such persons. Anyone convicted of the illegal sale of these medicines faces a penalty fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment for a period of up to two years under the Health Products Act.
Members of the public who have any information on the illegal sale of medicines may contact HSA's Enforcement Branch at Tel: 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: email@example.com.