A patient has been admitted to the National Hospital after ingesting the topical medication Soolantra, a cream used to treat the facial inflammatory lesions of rosacea, RÚV reports. The cream contains the active ingredient ivermectin. The Directorate of Health and the Iceland Medicines Agency have issued a joint statement reiterating that the drug is not meant to be ingested orally, warning COVID-19 patients against ingesting the cream due to the risk of serious side effects.
The statement notes that it’s important that the cream is only applied to the face. It should not come into contact with other body parts, especially eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes, and should never be ingested. Should the cream accidentally come into contact with eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes, the area should be washed immediately with a lot of water. The danger of serious side effects increases with larger doses or if topical creams are ingested.
Director of the Iceland Medicines Agency Rúna Hauksdóttir Hvannberg has stated that the agency is looking into which doctors have prescribed the cream and if there has been an increase in Soolantra prescriptions. The statement further states that they have credible sources indicating that patients suffering from COVID-19 have eaten the cream. Rúna confirmed this to RÚV. “We have at least one confirmed case where the individual in question was hospitalised. We believe there are more cases but this is a general warning, the drug is not intended for oral ingestion,” Rúna told RÚV:
The drug Soolantra has been used to treat the inflammatory lesions of rosacea. The cream is irritating for mucous membranes and incorrect usage can cause rashes, cramps, nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness. Rúna states that if anyone has ingested the cream and is experiencing side effects, they should contact their doctor.
Soolantra is a prescription drug and the Directorate of Health is currently looking into Soolantra prescriptions, which doctors have prescribed it and if prescriptions have increased. In light of the event, only specialised dermatologists can now prescribe the cream.