According to the New York Times, it may be possible for Phoenix Biotechnology to sell oleandrin as an over-the-counter supplement, which generally doesn’t require approval by the FDA. Although the company wouldn’t be allowed to advertise the supplement as a coronavirus cure, some worry the attention oleandrin has received from those with close connections to the White House may encourage some Americans to self-medicate with it for COVID-19 therapy or prevention.
Even more worrisome is the possibility that people might ingest the raw oleander plant — which Yahoo News Medical Contributor Dr. Dara Kass cautions can be deadly.
“Just because something grows in nature does not make it safe,” Kass says. “If you take this plant and take it so you are overdosed, you may have symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache and heart arrhythmias. When those heart arrhythmias get bad, you may start to pass out — and unfortunately, when those arrhythmias get so bad, they can kill you.”