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FDA Warns Pet Meds Can Harm Human Health

— January 2, 2024

Taking pet medications can make humans resistant to certain treatments, experts warn.

Everyone wants to keep their pets as healthy as possible. For many people, pets are no less a part of the family than the humans in the house, so it only makes sense that those pets would be provided with pet meds as soon as possible when they are sick. However, concerns have been raised that come pet medications could wind up impacting human health in a negative manner. At the core of the issue here is the presence of antimicrobials in the drugs that are being sold for use in pets. While the drugs may be beneficial to those pets, the humans who live with and care for the pets are going to be exposed to the antimicrobials. And, as a result, pet owners can build up a resistance to the antimicrobials, and medications that these people may need to take in the future might not be as effective.

This is happening because the drugs in question do not undergo an FDA review and are not formally approved for use in pets (and to be handled regularly by humans). Components like amoxicillin and penicillin can be found in these drugs, and exposing humans to those antimicrobials when they aren’t being used to treat an ongoing health condition is naturally going to limit their effectiveness later on.

Companies that are selling these kinds of drugs for pets have been issued letters from the FDA, warning them about the sale of the products. Some large players in the market have received those letters, like Chewy, Inc. and California Veterinary Supply. It’s yet to be seen how the future will play out with these drugs and the companies that sell them, but it seems possible – and even likely – that some type of legal battle will take place.

FDA Warns Pet Meds Can Harm Human Health
Photo by Christian Domingues from Pexels

The advice from the FDA for pet owners is clear – get rid of any of these drugs that have already been purchased and seek help from a licensed veterinarian. Going through a vet is the best way to get legitimate, approved forms of care for pets of all kinds. When working with a vet who is licensed and follows all of the relevant regulations, pet owners don’t have to worry about running into problems that are going to endanger either their own health or the health of their animals. Tossing out the drugs that have already been purchased might mean wasting a bit of money that was spent to purchase those drugs, but that’s better than other possible outcomes.

Denying pets the treatments they need to stay healthy or overcome an illness is certainly not desired, but neither is the outcome of hurting human health through the use of medications that have not been approved. The more pet owners know and understand about the situation with various over-the-counter medications that are sold in pet stores and other locations, the better they will be able to make choices that are right for their family as a whole.


Steer clear of these pet meds, FDA warns. These unapproved items could harm human health.

FDA Warns Nine Manufacturers, Distributors of Unapproved Antimicrobials for Animals

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