A suburban woman has received a controversial medicine that could save her life as she battles COVID-19, but it took a judge’s orders to make it happen.
Nurije Fype, 68, of Elmhurst has been a patient at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital since April 7, according to her daughter. She was put on a ventilator on April 28 and is now in a coma.
Yet Fype received her first dose of ivermectin on Monday after a judge ruled in her family's favor.
“She looks calm, comfortable and I’m happy with her monitor numbers so far. They are kind of stable,” said her daughter, Deserata Fype.
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Ivermectin is often used to treat parasites in animals. The Food and Drug Administration published an article earlier this year saying that taking a drug for "unapproved use can be very dangerous," citing potential side effects and medicinal interactions, but some doctors argue that studies have shown the drug to be a potent antiviral in COVID cases.
“In a life and death situation, it’s one of the safest medicines known in the last forty years,” said Dr. Pierre Kory of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance.
Still, ivermectin has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for COVID-19. The National Health Institute (NIH) said there is insufficient data for it to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.
The drug has been approved by the FDA to treat people with conditions caused by parasitic worms, while a topical variant of the drug has been approved for use on external parasites like head lice, or for skin conditions like roascea, according to an FDA document.
Deserata Fype said she started asking Elmhurst Hospital to give her mom ivermectim from the second day of being hospitalized and then every day after April 20 with no luck.
She eventually took the hospital to court and a DuPage County judge ordered the hospital to allow the medicine to be administered.
“At least we were able to give it to her after days and days of me begging for the drug,” said Deserata Fype.
During a follow up court hearing on the matter Tuesday, a lawyer for the hospital said other doctors and medical professionals called the treatment an “outlier” and “not within the standard of care.”
But the hospital said it allowed for an independent physician to administer the medicine to Fype.
Deserata Fype described her mother as the “sweetest” woman who is willing to help everyone.
“For right now, I only have to focus only on this: have the medicine given to her every day, see her get better and then take it step by step,” she said.