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Ivermectin is not an anti-viral drug and is not approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for use in the prevention or treatment of Covid-19. — Reuters pic
Ivermectin is not an anti-viral drug and is not approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for use in the prevention or treatment of Covid-19. — Reuters pic

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SINGAPORE, Sept 8 — Ivermectin is not an anti-viral drug and is not approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for use in the prevention or treatment of Covid-19, the HSA said on Wednesday (Sept 8), adding that authorities here take a serious view against those engaged in the illegal sale and supply of medicines including ivermectin.

HSA added that the drug is a prescription-only medicine approved in Singapore only for the treatment of parasitic worm infections. 

“So far, there is no scientific evidence from properly conducted clinical trials to prove that this medicine is effective against Covid-19,” it said in a statement in response to queries from TODAY.

“Consumers are strongly advised not to self-medicate with ivermectin and to consult their doctor for proper treatment of Covid-19.”

The agency added that it will take strong enforcement action against people who engage in the illegal sale and supply of medicines such as ivermectin. 

Anyone convicted of the illegal sale of these medicines faces a penalty fine of up to S$50,000 and/or imprisonment for a period of up to two years under the Health Products Act. 

HSA’s statement came after a TODAY report on people who are buying ivermectin online to self-medicate for Covid-19. Checks by TODAY identified at least three Telegram chat groups with people buying or consolidating orders for ivermectin. 

HSA said that self-medicating with ivermectin may be dangerous, and it can cause side effects such as vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, dizziness, seizures, confusion, sudden drop in blood pressure, severe skin rash that may require hospitalisation and liver injury. 

The agency urged members of the public who have any information on the illegal sale of medicine to contact its enforcement branch at 6866 3485 during office hours on weekdays or email hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg. — TODAY

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