Dangerous COVID-19 treatments, remedies
There are several medications that are effective in decreasing the severity of COVID-19, both in the hospital and in the outpatient setting.1 Unfortunately, many social media users are touting home remedies that are both ineffective and potentially harmful. For example, hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and ivermectin have been proven ineffective in treating COVID, but use of these substances has resulted in many cases of severe toxicity.2,3 Other remedies, including ingesting bleach, ingesting hydrogen peroxide, or using supplements in excess, including colloidal silver or vitamin D, may be dangerous and have long-term health effects. Read Oregon Poison Center's full statement about dangerous COVID-19 remedies. See the sections below for more information about emerging products of concern.
- Gandhi RT, Malani PN, del Rio C. COVID-19 therapeutics for nonhospitalized patients. JAMA on-line January 14, 2022. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.0335
- Temple C, Hoang R, Hendrickson RG. Toxic effects from ivermectin use associated with prevention and treatment of COVID-19. NEJM 2021; 385: 2197-2198.
Hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine and self-medicating with remedies from non-medical sources
Watch Dr. Hendrickson's interview with KGW 8 and learn more about hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine and why self-medicating with remedies from non-medical sources is dangerous.
Joint statement by the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Association of Poison Control Centers caution about toxicity from hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.
"What You Should Know About Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine" - FAQ from Maryland Poison Center
Joint statement by the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Association of Poison Control Centers caution about the proposed use of oleandrin for treatment of COVID-19.
Oregon Poison Center statement about ivermectin misuse: "Five Oregonians hospitalized due to misuse of ivermectin for COVID-19."
Oregon Poison Center statement about ivermectin and COVID-19: "Do not use drug designed to treat parasitic worms for COVID-19."
CDC Health Advisory about ivermectin toxicity: "Rapid Increase in Ivermectin Prescriptions and Reports of Severe Illness Associated with Use of Products Containing Ivermectin to Prevent or Treat COVID-19."
Physicians from the Oregon Poison Center report 21 cases of ivermectin toxicity in patients who were treating or trying to prevent COVID-19: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2114907
Hand Sanitizer Contamination
The FDA has identified more than 100 brands of hand sanitizer labeled to contain ethanol or isopropyl alcohol but have tested positive for methanol or 1-propanol contamination. These are not acceptable ingredients for hand sanitizer products marketed in the United States and can be toxic and life-threatening when ingested. FDA has expanded its do-not-use list of hand sanitizers to include hand sanitizers that are or may be contaminated. Check the list for products you may have at home and stop use of hand sanitizers on this list immediately.
If you have questions or concerns about hand sanitizer exposures call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222
As we take measures to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces is an important part of preventing the spread of disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches and toilets with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants appropriate for the surface. When used properly, these products can be effective against the spread of diseases like COVID-19. When used incorrectly, these products may be harmful to the user and others in the household, especially children.
Learn more about how to clean safely during the pandemic.
Read the joint statement by the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Association of Poison Control Centers caution about use of cleaning products and disinfectants.