Medicine Mix-Ups

Did you know that medication errors can happen just as easily to your pets as to they can to people? Prescriptions for pets are sometimes filled in the same pharmacies that serve human patients and errors can start with something as simple as abbreviations, especially as there are different systems taught in veterinary and medical schools, and a veterinarian might be more familiar with one than another.

As with any prescription, it’s important to pay close attention to the dosage and directions.   Additionally, according to the FDA’s website, here are some important things that you should remember to ask your veterinarian regarding any prescriptions:

  • What is the name of the drug? What is it supposed to do?
  • How much of the medication should I give each time?
  • How many times a day should I give it?
  • Should I give it before, during or after meals?
  • How should I stMedicine Mixore it?
  • What should I do if I forget to give a dose to my pet?
  • Should I finish giving all the medication, even if my pet seems better?
  • Are there reactions I should look for and call you about right away?

It’s also very important to keep a list of drugs that your animal is taking, including over-the-counter products, supplements and prescription drugs, and bring it with you to the vet’s office.  Be sure to discuss any medications that your animal is allergic to or that have caused problems in the past and to mention any serious or chronic health conditions that your pet may have.

Finally, there are some simple steps you can take at home to avoid medication errors:

  • Keep pet drugs stored away from human drug products to prevent mix-ups.
  • Keep your animal’s medications in their original labeled containers.
  • Do not share the medication for one animal with another animal unless directed by the veterinarian.
  • Do not give human medications to your animal unless directed by the vet.

For more information, visit http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm325222.htm.

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