If you’re a pet owner and have used any flea or tick medication recently, listen up: The Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert that some pills and chews used to protect dogs and cats against fleas and ticks can cause neurological problems.
The alert is for drugs in the isoxazoline class, which includes Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard and Simparica. The products are approved for the treatment and prevention or control of flea and tick infestations, but the FDA says they may also cause neurological side effects, including muscle tremors, ataxia and seizures in some dogs and cats.
While the FDA says the products have been safe for the majority of cats and dogs that have used them, they are warning pet owners to consult with their veterinarian to review the animal’s medical history and determine if a product in the isoxazoline class is safe for use in their pet. The FDA also says seizures may occur in animals without a prior history.
It should be noted that the FDA still considers the products safe and effective. However, they want pet owners to take the information into consideration when choosing the best flea and tick products for their four-legged family members.
If you have used the products on your pet and notice any adverse reactions, it’s important to consult your veterinarian and report the reaction to either the drug manufacturer or directly to the FDA. The FDA listed the following phone numbers for pet owners in the event of a reaction, depending on which product was used on your pet:
Merck Animal Health (Bravecto): 800-224-5318
Elanco Animal Health (Credelio): 888-545-5973
Merial (Nexgard): 888-637-4251
Zoetis (Simparica): 888-963-8471
If you prefer to report directly to the FDA, you can do so by following these instructions.
“Although FDA scientists carefully evaluate an animal drug prior to approval, there is the potential for new information to emerge after marketing, when the product is used in a much larger population,” the FDA says of its process. “In the first three years after approval, the FDA pays particularly close attention to adverse event reports, looking for any safety information that may emerge.”
So, it’s important to report to the FDA if you suspect your furry friends have had any adverse effects from their flea and tick protection.
The FDA says they are working with manufacturers of isoxazoline products to include a new label that highlights neurologic events, because “these events were seen consistently across the isoxazoline class of products,” according to the alert.
Have you used any of these products on your pet?