I would be skeptical... Your friends may be right and if dosed correctly I can see little actual risk to your rabbit from the treatment... however, whether or not the treatment will be effective is the question. On the one hand, I've read other rabbit folks having success with this treatment, but I've also read about it not working. I personally tend to approach just about any condition that can easily become chronic or repeating very aggressively. I do NOT want to leave a window for whatever I am dealing with to adapt to the treatment I'm using and therefore closing that avenue of treatment. My worst pet owner nightmare is neglecting and troubleshooting a problem until it becomes chronic, causing my rabbit entirely unnecessary long term discomfort.
Your best bet is to go to a veterinarian who is rabbit savvy and get a prescription that will knock this out with the least guesswork and risk to your rabbit. Seattle (I typically live two hours north) has phenomenal vets and rescues you can talk to to get this fixed. I've never been led astray by asking a rescue for help... They've seen just about everything and will know what actually works the best. I hope that helps, good luck.
So about 2 weeks ago, my lop-eared bunny, Pumpkin, started scratching his ear a lot and shaking his head. I finally got him to the vet today, and they said it was ear mites. Because of the whole covid thing, I couldn't go inside with him and see everything or even talk to the doctor. I just...
I actually would NOT try the topical ivermectin, as it risks allowing the mites to become resistant to the active ingredient if it does not work... Always try the effective, known method first, and then branch out into experimental if it doesn't!
Oral paste isn't formulated for maximum absorption into the skin. It could work to some extent, or may not work all that well, or even possibly work and too much is applied leading to possible OD issues. Also if applied in a spot the rabbit is able to groom it off and ingest it, if too much is applied then the inadvertent ingestion could lead to accidental overdose.
And I would definitely recommend against using the paste orally if it is the kind intended for large animals, as it isn't uncommon for the dosing to be inconsistent, and an incorrect amount given could lead to accidental overdose, which does happen and can lead to death or permanent disability. Some rabbit owners will want to try and use the large animal paste because it is cheaper than some of the other better types of antiparasitics available. But it isn't intended for such small animals and is a huge risk to attempt to use in treating a rabbit, just to save a few dollars.