Podcast host Joe Rogan told his millions of followers Wednesday that he has Covid-19 and used ivermectin, a drug typically used on livestock that health experts have urged the public to avoid.
Rogan, host of the immensely popular Spotify podcast "The Joe Rogan Experience," posted a video to Instagram explaining he tested positive for the coronavirus following his return from a live show Saturday. He said he had “fevers and sweats” and that he “threw the kitchen sink” at the illness.
His treatments included monoclonal antibodies and ivermectin, Rogan said. Ivermectin, which is not an anti-viral drug, is generally used to treat or prevent parasites in animals such as horses.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month urged people to stop believing misinformation claiming the livestock treatment would help cure Covid, saying it saw multiple reports of patients who have been hospitalized after "self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses.”
The agency clarified that FDA-approved ivermectin tablets meant to treat people with certain conditions caused by parasitic worms as well as topical formulations used for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea are different from the drug used on animals. Ivermectin tablets and topical formulations for humans have "very specific doses" that are significantly smaller than the doses meant for animals.
Patients who overdose with ivermectin can experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, allergic reactions, dizziness, problems with balance, seizures, coma and even death, according to the FDA.
Rogan has more than 13 million followers on Instagram, and his podcast is the most-streamed program on Spotify.
He has also previously been criticized by public health officials for spreading misinformation about Covid vaccines. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, called Rogan “incorrect” for saying young people do not need to be vaccinated.
Fauci said they should "absolutely" get vaccinated because they are not only risking contracting the disease, but also spreading it to those around them.
"So if you want to only worry about yourself and not society, then that's OK," Fauci said. "But if you're saying to yourself, 'Even if I get infected, I could do damage to somebody else, even if I have no symptoms at all,' and that's the reason why you've got to be careful and get vaccinated."
Rogan later said he was not anti-vaccination and added that he should not be the source of medical advice, as he isn’t a doctor.
"I'm not a doctor," Rogan said, according to the BBC in April. "I'm not a respected source of information, even for me."