On the basis of information on the official NADFC website quoted on Wednesday, the efficacy of Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment had yet to be established through clinical trials.
The NADFC also states that the use of Ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 must be based on the approval and supervision of a doctor.
"If people get this drug without a doctor's prescription, they are encouraged to consult with a doctor before using it," according to BPOM's appeal on its official website.
The long-term use of Ivermectin without a medical indication and without a doctor's prescription can cause muscle or joint pain, skin rash, fever, dizziness, constipation, diarrhea, drowsiness, and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.
The agency has appealed to residents to desist from buying Ivermectin without a doctor's prescription and only purchase it at official pharmacy service facilities, such as pharmacies and hospitals, if they hold a doctor's prescription for the medicine.
In addition, residents are urged to consult with a doctor before using the medicine.
Ivermectin 12 mg tablet is registered in Indonesia to treat intestinal worm infections (Strongyloidiasis and Onchocerciasis). The drug is given in a single dose of 150-200 mcg per kilogram of body weight, with prescribed use for once a year.
Ivermectin is a strong drug whose purchase must be based on a doctor's prescription and its use must also be under the doctor’s supervision.
Since the use of Ivermectin for treatment in humans in Indonesia is still new, the agency has given an expiry date of six months for the drug. The public is urged to not use the drug for more than six months from the stated production date.
In order to determine the efficacy and safety of Ivermectin in COVID-19 treatment, clinical trials are being conducted under the coordination of the Health Research and Development Agency as well as the Health Ministry and involve several hospitals.
The NADFC will monitor the implementation of these clinical trials and follow up the results as well as update information on the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment by communicating with the World Health Organization (WHO) and drug authority bodies of other countries.
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