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HSA investigating illegal sales and distribution of ivermectin after 65-year-old woman who took pills fell ill

SINGAPORE — The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Thursday (Oct 7) that it is investigating the illegal sales and distribution of ivermectin in relation to a case where a 65-year-old woman ended up in hospital after she consumed it.

A box of ivermectin pills that the mother of Ms Vanessa Koh Wan Ling took before she was hospitalised.

A box of ivermectin pills that the mother of Ms Vanessa Koh Wan Ling took before she was hospitalised.

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SINGAPORE — The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Thursday (Oct 7) that it is investigating the illegal sales and distribution of ivermectin in relation to a case where a 65-year-old woman ended up in hospital after she consumed it.

It did not provide any other information apart from this.

The statement came a day after TODAY reported that supporters of the anti-parasite pharmaceutical drug are suggesting that the woman fell sick not because of the pills she took but for other reasons such as the Covid-19 vaccine she received.

The police have confirmed that a report was filed on the case, but no details are available.

Last Sunday, Facebook user Vanessa Koh Wan Ling said that her mother was hospitalised after taking ivermectin, having been urged by her friends to use it to protect herself from Covid-19.

On Tuesday after news of the woman’s case made the rounds, HSA issued a statement on its website to state again that ivermectin is not an anti-viral medicine and is not approved for use to prevent or treat Covid-19.

Self-medicating with the drug can be dangerous, with side effects that include vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, sudden drop in blood pressure, stomach pain and liver injury (hepatitis). Ivermectin can also interact with other medications such as blood-thinners, it said.

There have already been reports of patients requiring hospitalisation after self-medication with ivermectin, it added.

HSA also said that to date, there is no scientific evidence from properly conducted clinical trials to prove that ivermectin is effective against Covid-19.

It warned consumers “not to self-medicate with ivermectin and to consult their doctor for proper treatment of Covid-19”.

TODAY reported last month that there are people here buying ivermectin online.

“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,” said the authority.

Anyone convicted of illegally selling ivermectin can be fined up to S$50,000 or be jailed for up to two years, or both, under the Health Products Act.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus HSA ivermectin police

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