When is Ivermectin Use Considered Legal, Illegal?

A clarification from the FDA.
Photo/s: Shutterstock

Ivermectin has gained public attention due to claims that the antiparasitic drug can help in COVID-19 treatment even though both global and local health authorities have warned against self-medicating with it.

And with some politicians advocating for its use, the Food and Drug Administration issued clarifications on when the use of Ivermectin--used to treat lice and worms in both animals and humans--is considered legal and illegal.

Here are the conditions provided by the FDA:


  • Given a compassionate special permit
  • Obtained a certificate of product registration
  • Compounded for personal use in quantities corresponding to the prescription of a licensed physician

According to the FDA, when Ivermectin is treated as an investigational drug, liabilities and damages are shouldered by the compassionate special permit holder. 


  • Imported from other countries and/or compounded in an establishment without FDA authorization
  • Sold or distributed as an unregistered drug

If illegally used, the FDA said it could not guarantee the safety and efficacy of the product.

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While clinical trials on the efficacy of Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment are underway, both the FDA and the Department of Health have warned the public against using it to treat the virus.

Continue reading below ↓
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"Based on the current evidence from randomized controlled trials, the DOH does not recommend the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19," the agencies said.

Members of Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 also warned the public against the use of Ivermectin, calling on all healthworkers to "unite and protect" Filipinos using evidence-based management.

Continue reading below ↓

It should be noted too that the Philippines is also looking at the potential of Ivermectin to prevent and control African Swine Fever.


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