Did you know that most of the pet medications we use for cats and dogs are actually the exact same drugs that are prescribed in human medicine? There are a handful of veterinary specific pet medications that are tested and approved by the FDA but for the most part we are using people drugs off label. These drugs are studied extensively in veterinary medicine but they haven’t completed the FDA’s stringent and very expensive trial requirements. If all drugs we used in veterinary medicine had to be FDA approved, veterinarians would be extremely limited in what conditions we could treat. For more information on extralabel drug use please visit the AVMA website.
Often I will write a prescription for a client to pick up the medication at a human pharmacy. Pet owners are often shocked at the cost of some pet medications because we are used to human insurance picking up some or all of the expense. There is a great website and smart phone app called Good Rx that will provide you with the cost of the human medication at local pharmacies so you can make sure you are getting the best price. In addition Good Rx will provide coupons giving you an even greater discount. This is a huge help especially if your pet is on a chronic medication, the costs for this can really add up. Hope this helps!
Ashley Gallagher, DVM