Several inmates in a US prison have filed a lawsuit claiming that they were deceived into taking ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDAhas not approved any form of the anti-parasitic medication to treat Covid-19.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas (ACLU) recently filed a federal lawsuit against Washington County Detention Centre, Washington county sheriff, Tim Helder and Dr. Robert Karas, who works at the jail.

The case was filed in the US district court for the western district of Arkansas.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants administered ivermectin "to incarcerated individuals without prior informed consent as to the nature, contents, or potential side effects of the drug".

In a statement, the ACLU outlined that the plaintiffs in the case allege that "they were deceived over a period of days and possibly weeks, regarding an unknown dose of ivermectin".

No one - including incarcerated individuals - should be deceived and subject to medical experimentation," Gary Sullivan, legal director of ACLU, said.

The inmates have claimed that they were informed that the alleged treatment was made up of vitamins, antibiotics and/or steroids.

It is alleged that the prisoners were given ivermectin as early as November 2020 and became aware of the treatment in July 2021.


Sullivan outlined that the FDA has stated that the "misuse of ivermectin for Covid-19 can cause serious harm including seizures, comas, and even death".

"The detention centre failed to use safe and appropriate treatments for Covid-19, even in the midst of a pandemic, and they must be held accountable,” he alleged.

Meanwhile, the FDA has received multiple reports of people requiring medical support and hospitalisation after self-medicating with ivermectin to treat Covid-19.

Ivermectin tablets are approved by the FDA for humans at very specific doses for some parasitic worms, with topical formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea also available.

It said that ivermectin preparations for animals should never be used by humans.