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FDA: Pet Medication Errors Increasing

Filed December 28th, 2012 admin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to pet owners after investigators found an increased number of mistakes with pet prescriptions.

In it’s warning, the FDA said that while mistakes can occur at vet-based pharmacies, when pet prescriptions are filled in human pharmacies, different systems might be to blame. Investigators found errors stemming from basic issues such as look-alike packaging, drugs with similar names, and simple penmanship errors, WPRI News said. Abbreviations are also a common cause of errors because prescription shorthand taught in veterinary schools differs from shorthand taught in medical schools, and some pharmacists may not be familiar with vet abbreviations, WPRI News said.

The American Veterinary Medical Association said that communication is the key in avoiding any pet medication confusion. The Association recommends a pet-owner’s pharmacist speaks to the owner’s vet to clear up any questions. The FDA also advises pet owners to verify the name and dosage of the pet’s drug with the pet’s vet. FDA investigators also discovered pet medication errors resulted from pet owners misinterpreting labels and accidentally giving pets human drugs.

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