What happens when your prescription drug becomes the center of covid misinformation

Friedman says he has been forced to change the way he talks to patients when he needs to prescribe hydroxychloroquine. “I’ve now worked on my scripting: ‘Hey, I want you to start with this drug. You may have heard about it related to Kovid, that it was used as a cure and it is not,'” he says. However, in dermatology we have been using it for decades for these different things.

To understand the extent to which this confusion could be the future of ivermectin, I went to r / Rosacea, subredited for advice on how to deal with a chronic condition.

Series differently

People with rosacea know ivermectin not as a non-proven covid drug, but as a proven and effective treatment that helps some people with the type of rosacea that causes tumors on the skin. On Subredit, a user was confused by the sudden rush of attention, asking: “Why do ivermectin memes appear everywhere right now? And how does the mainstream know what it is?”

For those on SubRedit, ivermectin is a very persistent topic of discussion. There is an expensive topical cream called Sulalantra that contains the drug, and a general version was released this summer. But even a subset of those users knew that the same drug was in horse paste, as some people diagnosed with rosacea also bought veterinary forms – usually because they could not otherwise get get access to the cream or afford the prescription.

The practice is controversial in people with rosacea, and dermatologists have expressed concern about experimenting with a product that contains inappropriate doses or untested ingredients with potential adverse effects. However, Friedman says, while a person with rosacea turns to horse paste for cost reasons, it is in a clearly different medical and ethical universe than when people eat horse paste to “cure” covid. For diagnosed rosacea patients who need ivermectin to control the condition, Friedman says, “Unfortunately, the best medications are the ones that patients can get.”

Friedman says people who use the generic version of Solantra or Ivermectin are not likely to face a shortage right now. However, there are reports of farm supply stores running short on horse paste. In addition to some of the practical issues of Story Case – while reporting this story, I spoke to a man who a few weeks ago had to buy horse paste from the UK to treat his pet rats for pests – now there is an extra level of scrutiny and stigma. How do you explain that you use horse paste on yourself, but don’t like That?

“Attached to this incredibly simple idea”

Subradit’s mediators were already aware of the misinformation about ivermectin.

“We’ve seen some pretty crazy things, like people recommending wearing flea collars or using pesticides on their faces.”

Ryan, moderated on the R / Rosacea forum

People use the site like many online communities to discuss and trade information based on their experience: for example, discussing the best facial cleansers, asking how to avoid irritation, or sharing how their treatment is progressing over time. To do. But they can also provoke and promote misinformation, which mediators have to monitor and eliminate.

Although there are some Facebook groups that promote horse paste for people with rosacea, R / rosacea subradit does not promote or restrict discussion of its use. One moderator told me that the biggest risk is that people will self-diagnose with rosacea and decide to treat themselves with a DIY version of the drug, which should only be used in a form intended for use by humans with the guidance of a physician. .

Not all rosaceaes are the same, though, and the reasons why ivermectin may work for some people are still the subject of scientific debate.

There is a connection between rosacea and Demodex moths, which live in the hair follicles on each face. In people with any form of rosacea, it is more common. But the exact relationship is not clear. “The question is chicken or eggs,” Friedman says. Do people with rosacea ideal for Demodex pests live longer, or “or does this intensify the growing rosacea?”

Because of that uncertainty some dangerous suggestions have gone online online, Reddit moderator Ryan said I have withheld his last name.

“People are fascinated and attached to this incredibly simple idea that if they just kill the insects, their rosacea and their problems will go away.” “We’ve also seen some crazy things, like people recommending wearing flea collars or using pesticides on their faces.”

Data cancellation and poisoning wells

Online peddlers of misinformation often exploit data void, telling people to search for specific words that they know will lead to results that will promote what they are trying to say. At worst, as misinformation researcher Renee Deresta has written in the past, top results can come entirely from people who believe in and promote misinformation.

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