Joe Rogan talks COVID-19, use of unproven ivermectin in podcast return

The anti-parasitic was one of several treatments Rogan took while sick, even though US regulators say there isn't evidence of effectiveness against COVID-19.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
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Oscar Gonzalez
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Joe Rogan enjoying a cigar while talking about COVID-19 on his podcast

Joe Rogan enjoying a cigar while talking about COVID-19 on his podcast.

The Joe Rogan Experience

Joe Rogan returned to his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, on Tuesday, saying he's recovered after revealing last week that he had tested positive for COVID-19. The UFC commentator and comedian discussed the treatments he took while sick, including the unproven drug ivermectin, which has spiked in popularity despite the lack of evidence of its effectiveness. 

The anti-parasitic drug hasn't been recommended for treating COVID-19 by US public health agencies, leading to some people taking a variation of the drug intended for animals. In March, the FDA warned against human use of ivermectin made for animals like cows and horses because the doses differ and could contain ingredients not meant for humans.

Rogan on Tuesday said he got ivermectin from a doctor, adding that "multiple doctors told me to take it."

Rogan said he started feeling ill on Aug. 28 and tested positive the next day. He added he began taking his regimen the same day, which apparently included ivermectin, IV drips of vitamins D and C, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) that helps repair cells, and monoclonal antibodies. He said he felt fine the next day. 

A small group of doctors began pushing for the use of ivermectin in late 2020 after repurposing the drug in an effort to treat COVID-19. While there have been some studies that suggest ivermectin could be an effective treatment, a growing number of clinical trials show that the drug has no effect on COVID-19. Some studies showing a benefit from ivermectin in treating COVID-19 have also since been redacted due to poor methodology and ethical issues, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Rogan also spoke about how the Japanese chairman of the Tokyo Medical Association recommended doctors use ivermectin on Aug. 22. However, the country has yet to list the drug as a treatment and the chairman doesn't represent the Japanese government.