In this age of information, it is important that pet owners receive proper information about the drugs prescribed for their pet. The best source for information is the pet’s veterinarian. Informed consent is an essential aspect of safe and effective use of medications in our pets. Veterinarians and pet owners should discuss the benefits as well as the risks of all medications, and this includes Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs.
Pet owners, not wanting their pets to be uncomfortable, are often quite diligent in administering to their dogs any prescribed pain medications. NSAIDs are often used for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and, in some instances, to control the postoperative pain associated with some surgical procedures. Therefore, pet owners should be informed of possible NSAID side effects.
All FDA-CVM approved NSAIDs for use in dogs (there are no oral NSAIDs approved for use in cats in the US) are packaged with a Client Information Sheet (CIS), also known as an Owner Information Sheet. Some CISs are printed on the back of the package insert, some are perforated and can be torn from the package insert, and many medications come to the veterinarian with additional tear-off pads of CISs for distribution to pet owners. These information sheets are written in user-friendly language intended to provide useful information to pet owners. Pet owners may refer to CISs while their dogs are receiving an NSAID.
NSAIDs provide many significant benefits to pets. The intent of the CISs is to inform pet owners of the potential risks associated with all NSAIDs, to help avoid potential adverse reactions and to educate owners to watch for certain signs of adverse events in their pets. Pet owners should be informed to stop administering any NSAID if a suspected problem arises and to contact their veterinarian immediately.
The CISs provide pet owners with written information to which they may refer long after they have left the animal hospital. Often in veterinary practice, drugs are re-packaged for individual pet dispensing. The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management is providing copies of the Client Information Sheets for NSAIDs on this website as a reference for pet owners and as a resource for veterinary practices.
If the pet owner and/or veterinarian suspect a reaction associated with an NSAID (or any other medication), that reaction should be reported to the pharmaceutical company. All NSAIDs approved for use in dogs have a toll free number on the package insert and Client Information Sheet for reporting suspected reactions. If they are unable to report problems directly to the appropriate pharmaceutical company, veterinarians and pet owners are encouraged to report veterinary Adverse Drug Experiences (ADE) and suspected product failures to the government agency that regulates the product in question. In the case of NSAIDs, adverse drug experiences may be reported to the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM).
Questions regarding ADE Reporting should be addressed to:
Center for Veterinary Medicine
Division of Surveillance, HFV-210
7519 Standish Place
Rockville, MD 20855
Information reported to CVM is often used for updating labeling and adding “post-approval” language to the package insert. You can get more information about NSAIDs and other pet medications by going to CVM’s website, www.fda.gov/cvm/default.html. Once there, go to the “Greenbook” navigational button, where you can look up medications by the brand name or active ingredient.