Some People May be Using Opioids Intended for Their Pets, FDA Warns

Some people may be using opioids that veterinarians have prescribed for their pets, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said this week.

“We recognize that opioids and other pain medications have a legitimate and important role in treating pain in animals — just as they do for people,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.”But just like the opioid medications used in humans, these drugs have potentially serious risks, not just for the animal patients, but also because of their potential to lead to addiction, abuse and overdose in humans who may divert them for their own use.”

The FDA has developed a resource guide for veterinarians on responsible opioid prescribing, CNN reports. The guide describes state and federal regulations, alternatives to opioids to manage pain in pets, and what to do if a pet overdoses on fentanyl or other opioids. The guide also explains how to educate pet owners on safe storage and disposal of opioids, and lists signs that a client or employee may be abusing opioids.

Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are seeing a sharp rise as well.