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Arkansas inmates who received ivermectin to treat COVID-19 Sue Jail, doctor | Top stories

Arkansas inmates who received ivermectin to treat COVID-19 Sue Jail, doctor

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Four inmates at a northwest Arkansas jail sued the facility and its doctor Thursday after saying they were unwittingly prescribed ivermectin to treat COVID-19 despite warnings from health officials that the antiparasitic drug should not be used for this purpose.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of inmates against the Washington County Jail, Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder and Dr. Robert Karas. Helder revealed in August that inmates had been prescribed ivermectin to treat their COVID-19.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of ivermectin by humans and animals for certain parasitic worms, head lice, and skin conditions. The FDA has not approved its use in the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 in humans. According to the FDA, side effects of the drug include rash, nausea, and vomiting.

The inmates said they were never told that ivermectin was part of the drugs they were given to treat their COVID-19, and were instead told they were given vitamins, antibiotics or steroids.

The truth, however, was that unknowingly and without voluntary consent, the complainants ingested incredibly high doses of a drug that credible medical professionals, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all agree. it is not an effective treatment for COVID-19, and if given in high doses it is dangerous for humans, ”the trial said.

Karas did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office declined to comment. Karas previously said that no detainee was forced to take the drug.

Karas said he started giving ivermectin in the prison in November 2020. All four inmates received the drug after testing positive for COVID-19 in August 2021, according to the lawsuit.

The State Medical Council has investigated complaints against Karas about the prison’s use of ivermectin and is expected to discuss the investigation at its February meeting.

A box of ivermectin is shown at a drugstore as pharmacists work in the background on Thursday, September 9, 2021, in Georgia. (AP Photo / Mike Stewart)

In a September letter sent by his lawyer, Karas told a Medical Council investigator that 254 prison inmates had been treated with ivermectin.

In the letter, Karas said the information given to detainees about ivermectin depended on who administered it and paramedics had not been given the “required counseling details” to discuss the drug with detainees. . Karas said the process has since improved.

“Since the start of the media coverage, we have adopted a more robust informed consent form to allay any concerns that inmates would be misled or coerced into taking the drugs, even if they did not do so,” the report said. letter.

All four inmates suffered side effects from taking the drug, including vision problems, diarrhea and stomach cramps, according to the lawsuit.

The American Medical Association, the American Pharmacists Association, and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists called last year for an immediate end to prescribing and using the drug to treat coronavirus.

Pharmaceutical prescriptions for ivermectin skyrocketed last summer, and health officials in Arkansas and other states issued warnings after seeing a spike in calls to poison control centers for people taking the form animal medicine to treat COVID-19. The CDC has also sent an alert to doctors regarding the trend.

Despite the warnings, the drug had been touted by Republican lawmakers in Arkansas and other states as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

The detainees request that they receive a medical assessment by a provider not affiliated with Karas.

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