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Toxic human drugs
Dr. Anna avatar
Written by Dr. Anna
Updated over a week ago

There are many drugs that we can take frequently and at any time as humans and they’ll not harm us, but to our pets, they’re toxic if they ingest them in any way.

In this article, we’ll tell you about these drugs, especially their active ingredients, how to keep your pet safe from these toxic medications, and what to do if your pet takes one of these medications accidentally.

These toxic medications are

1. NSAIDS (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug) & Pain Medications.

NSAIDS are widely available over-the-counter drugs for humans to relieve pain. This group of medications consists of Naproxen and Ibuprofen.

When consumed by your pet, NSAIDS can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach, and intestinal ulcers and perforations, kidney and liver failure, and even death.

Another common pain medication, Acetaminophen, can also cause liver failure and red blood cell damage, especially in cats.

There are some safe NSAIDS that can be used in pets by a veterinarian doctor only.

2. Antidepressants, Anti-anxiety, & Sleep Aid Medications.

Antidepressants such as Duloxetine and Venlafaxine; anti-anxiety medications such as Alprazolam and Clonazepam; and sleep aids such as Zolpidem can cause pets to become severely sedated.

These medications have the potential to cause neurologic issues in animals, including tremors, seizures, and heightened agitation and heart rates. One medication is frequently enough to result in serious issues and even death.

Only veterinarians can select some of these medications and prescribe them according to the case after the examination.

3. ADD & ADHD medications.

Medications that contain amphetamine are used to manage ADD & ADHD. Just a small amount of this medication can lead to life-threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperatures, cardiac arrest, and respiratory failure in pets.

The symptoms might not appear right away, and once they do, they could get worse over time.

4. Heart/Blood pressure medications.

Beta-blockers such as Atenolol, Metoprolol succinate, and Carvedilol can result in life-threatening drops in blood pressure and extremely sluggish heart rates when ingested by pets.

Pets ingested ACE Inhibitors such as Lisinopril and Ramipril may also experience less serious issues.

How to keep your pets safe from toxic medications

Accidental ingestion of medications is common since our pets are curious and medications can look very similar to food and treats. It’s important to ensure medications are kept out of reach of pets to avoid accidental ingestion. Here are a few tips to keep your pet safe:

  • Keep your medications, pill vials, and weekly pill containers in a secure place, out of the reach of pets (and children)

  • Do not store medications on your nightstand, which can be easily accessed by pets

  • Pick up any dropped medications immediately

  • Separate pet medications from human medications and keep them in different places

  • Ask your pet’s veterinarian before giving any human medications to your pet

In case you notice any of these symptoms on your pet or they may ingest any of these medications, you have to go to a veterinary hospital immediately.

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