A picture of a serving of ivermectin intended for horses (Image: Supplied)

Australians are using Facebook and Telegram groups to find out where to buy or get prescribed ivermectin, a livestock deworming drug that’s been promoted as COVID-19 treatment by former US president Donald Trump and anti-vaxxers.

Since the pandemic began, there’s been a demand for alternative treatments for COVID. For a while it was hydroxychloroquine. Now the attention has turned to ivermectin. Neither are approved for use in Australia to treat the virus. 

Despite a lack of evidence supporting its use after numerous studies, interest in the dewormer has soared. There’s a national shortage and a 10-fold increase in importation, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) told Guardian Australia