The prevention and treatment of Covid-19 treatment has become political. Never in my 30-plus years of practicing medicine have I witnessed the extreme politicization of a disease.
Physicians are prevented from prescribing some FDA-approved medications to treat Covid off-label, depending on the guidelines of your red or blue state. So here we are, armed with options to prevent and treat this virus, however we are being influenced depending on our political leaning.
This conundrum hit me personally when my 85-year-old mother, who was fully immunized, contracted Covid. My brother, who is also a physician, and I have differing political opinions but obviously both love our mother. We wanted her to receive the most efficacious treatments.
He laughed when I suggested giving her ivermectin while we waited to get her on the list to receive the free monoclonal antibody infusion. Ivermectin is an inexpensive, safe medication, approved by the FDA to treat other diseases.
Typically, on day three of the three-day-course, using a therapeutic dose of this medication for an off-label use, patients experience an improvement. He agreed to my recommendation.
On day three of my mother’s course, the same day she was scheduled to get the antibody infusion, she woke up feeling much better, declaring she did not need the infusion. She felt well enough to go to lunch. Needless to say, we did not go to lunch and kept her appointment for the infusion. She continues to do very well.
When my brother turned Covid-positive, his perspective about taking this “off-label medication” changed. He took ivermectin right away. He was down for the count with Covid the first couple of days but guess what happened on day three of ivermectin – he was much improved.
I said to him, “It’s not right that just because our mother has two physicians in her life that she gets this treatment. Many in similar situations could also receive this treatment, however, they do not know about it. People should be aware of their options.”
I have been on a personal mission to get the word out. Using this platform, I am hopeful others who are interested will discuss these potential treatments with their physicians.
To be clear, these are potential treatments – not a cure. These prescriptions do not and should not replace the Covid immunization, if that is something you have chosen to receive. This country was built on freedom of choice. Covid should not limit our choices. Americans should be made aware of these options, no matter on which side of the aisle you sit.
Lori Luzi, M.D., is a practicing family physician and 1988 graduate of the University at Buffalo’s medical school.