A Texas doctor who defended ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 and criticized vaccine mandates has been suspended

  • The Houston Methodist Hospital has suspended the privileges of Dr. Mary Bowden.

  • On Twitter, she repeatedly defended the antiparasitic drug ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment.

  • Bowden is the latest doctor to face disciplinary measures after going against COVID-19 guidelines.

A doctor from Texas who spread COVID-19 misinformation on her personal Twitter account has had her privileges suspended.

Dr. Mary Bowden of the Houston Methodist Hospital posted a series of tweets praising the antiparasitic drug ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. She also called vaccine mandates "wrong."

Ivermectin is a drug typically used to treat parasitic infections in livestock such as horses. Health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have repeatedly warned that the drug can cause adverse side effects in humans, such as dizziness and nausea. In some cases, it can lead to overdose and death, as well as to hallucinations and seizures.

Ivermectin can be used by humans but only through a prescription ordered by a doctor, usually to get rid of parasitic worms, the FDA said. Sometimes, ivermectin can be used to treat lice and skin conditions such as rosacea. But no health agency recommends that people infected with the coronavirus take ivermectin.

Steven Mitby, Bowden's attorney, told CNN that the doctor wasn't against vaccines, but believed that "people should have a choice." Bowden is vaccinated, Mitby said, as Houston Methodist mandates that all doctors be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a statement posted to Twitter, the Houston Methodist Hospital said Bowden used her account to "express her personal and political opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine and treatments."

Bowden is the latest doctor to face discipline after going against COVID-19 guidelines that are backed by leading health officials nationwide.

Last month, retired physician Sue McIntosh voluntarily surrendered her medical license after officials learned she was giving patients blank, signed COVID-19 exemption waivers. And in September, Steven Arthur LaTulippe had his medical license revoked after he falsely described carbon-dioxide poisoning as a risk of wearing face masks.

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