FDA Warning: Pet owners using animals to get opioids

FDA Warning: Pet owners using animals to get opioids
Posted at 4:24 PM, Aug 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-19 16:24:00-04

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The US Food and Drug Administration is sounding the alarm about one way people might access opioids to misuse and abuse: their pets.

Doctors are being told to limit these types of prescriptions, pharmacies are creating new restrictions, and lawsuits are being leveled against drug manufacturers.

Now, the FDA is asking veterinarians to join in the efforts by easing off prescribing opioids for animals because pet owners are stealing them for their own use. For more information from the FDA click or tap here.

Veterinarians are also concerned that some pet owners may be intentionally harming their animals in an attempt to get hold of prescription opioids, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health. 

Currently, there is just one opioid approved for use in animals, Recuvyra, which is a form of fentanyl - the drug that has been the cause of thousands of deaths in the US.

The FDA says there hasn't been much information about responsible opioid prescribing for veterinary medicine professionals and so the FDA developed a resource guide on what veterinarians need to know. The resource includes information on state and federal regulations, alternatives to opioids and how to identify if a client or employee may be abusing opioids and take action with a safety plan.

Veterinarians are required to be licensed by the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe opioids to animal patients, as are all health care providers when prescribing for use in humans.

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