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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Reporting adverse reactions to medications and other chemicals.

With all the reported dangers of over-the-counter flea and tick medications, vaccinations, lawn chemicals and other dangers our dogs come in contact with, we were encourage to see that the American Veterinary Medical Association has a website page that provides a system for reporting adverse events and reactions.

This page provides a means for assistance in reporting to the various agencies that govern the use of, and adverse event associated with, a pesticide (such as a flea and tick product, or lawn chemical), veterinary drug, a vaccine or other biological product, and/or pet food. These agencies include the FDA, the US Department of Agriculture, the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) and/or the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP).

Here's some info from the site:

Adverse events are undesirable effects that occur after the use of a medication, medical device, pesticide, or vaccine or other biological product. They may, or may not, be caused by the product or device. Adverse events are rare and the majority of them are minor, but some can be life-threatening.

Advice for Animal Owners

Although controlled studies are performed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of these products, these studies might not identify small groups of animals at higher risk of experiencing adverse events. Post-marketing monitoring of adverse events provides the government, manufacturers and veterinarians with critical information about the safety and efficacy of products. If adverse events occur, reporting them allows the government, manufacturers and veterinarians to investigate and determine if the product's labeling or use should be changed. Adverse events are rare and the majority of them are minor, but some can be life-threatening.

Your veterinarian may report the adverse event to the appropriate agency and provide the necessary information; if your veterinarian reports the adverse event, you do not need to file a report. If your veterinarian has not reported the adverse event, or if your veterinarian was not involved in the treatment, you may need to report the adverse event. Different government agencies oversee different products, so the reporting process will vary. Regardless of the government agency involved, the manufacturer should be notified of the adverse event.

So many times I have read about adverse reactions to over-the-counter medications for dogs, reactions to pesticides and lawn chemicals, and severe reactions to certain vaccinations. The only way for change to take place is for these reactions to be reported and documented, along with the findings of the wonderful work that several agencies are doing in independently testing many of the prescribed and over-the-counter medications, supposed safe lawn chemicals and more; along with the lobbying they, and many caring individuals, are providing.

Education is key and we believe that the more these events are reported, the more likely the chance that specific action will take place in keep our dogs safer. So please, keep this information handy, report any incidents and spread the word!

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