The National Poison Centre has received two cases of poisoning involving the use of the ivermectin drug.
The health ministry said in a Facebook post today that the first case involved a 35-year-old who experienced shortness of breath for up to five days after taking the drug.
“The second case involved a senior citizen who was found unconscious after allegedly taking 15 pills of ivermectin at one go,” it added.
The ministry advised the public against taking ivermectin for self-treatment, saying there is no antidote or specific treatment for such cases of poisoning.
It said the drug was found to have been sold illegally as ivermectin has not been approved for use in the country to treat or prevent Covid-19.
It said taking ivermectin without in-depth study and at improper dosage could result in poisoning alongside adverse effects such as vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and dizziness.
On June 5, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was reported as saying that the health ministry and the Institute for Clinical Research had started clinical trials to study the use and efficacy of ivermectin for high-risk Covid-19 patients at 12 hospitals under the ministry.
He also said that ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration, widely used for treating several neglected tropical diseases including onchocerciasis, strongyloidiasis and helminthiases.
However, he said evidence was inconclusive to recommend the routine use of ivermectin for Covid-19 patients.