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February 9, 2004 03:38 AM

Broken: Dog medication label

A. Marks writes:

Here's a picture of my golden retriever's medication. Note the warning label. Don't worry, he has not operated a car nor heavy machinery since he's been on the medication.


I'm pretty sure they have to put that on regardless of who it's for, if it has certain ingrediants in it. Stupid rule, yes, but better safe than sorry, wouldn't you agree?

Posted by: never mind that at February 9, 2004 08:06 PM

Right. What's the point in printing up separate human/animal labels? You got your "drowsy" label, your "take with food" label, etc. Not broken as I see it, just sensible economizing.

Posted by: Chaz Larson at February 10, 2004 12:40 PM

Of course it's broken!

1) It makes me doubt whether the drug issued was the one which was prescribed for my dog. If it really is for dogs, shouldn't there be a dog-specific warning label? i.e., Fido might not want to play catch after taking two doses of this.

2) If the drug issued was the one prescribed, this label still makes me doubt whether this drug has ever been tested on dogs. Drug trials often don't study the different effects drugs have on men and women, let alone dogs. See for instance, this American Medical Association article:

Posted by: Michael at February 10, 2004 02:30 PM

I disagree with the "better safe than sorry" argument for adding warning labels. Having lots of warning labels desensitizes people. You can no longer tell what's most important.

We have the same problem in the U.S. with prison sentences for various "recreational" drugs. If you equate drugs with murder (intent being to make drugs look really bad), it makes murder seem not so bad.

Posted by: Amit Patel at February 15, 2004 07:22 PM

True, but we're not talking about murder, we're talking about dog pills. So back to the topic at hand, these bottles were probably automated, i.e. if the drug has a certain ingrediant it needs so-and-so label, regardless of the use of the drug. This saves time and money and is more convenienced; it doesn't involve a set of labels for every genre of drug.

Posted by: never mind that at February 19, 2004 11:03 AM

Also, many people surreptitiously get their medication through a vets office becuase it is often cheaper. The exact same medication in the exact same doeses, but 50-75% less.

Posted by: Patrick at March 10, 2004 01:47 PM

I'm a pharmacy technician. The labels are supposed to be put on there no matter what, for the reasons listed above. Clearly the point of the label is in bold, may cause drowsiness. It couldn't have anything to do with testing on dogs, the bottle is prepared by the pharmacy. There is such a wide range of possible patients that you have to put all applicable warnings on because you don't know the specifics on whether it applies to the person taking it. That said, if a patient has a clearly male name or is past menopausal years, we won't put a "Do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding" sticker on.

Posted by: Brian at March 30, 2004 08:11 PM

I also hope he hasn't had any alcohol.

(Second line, in bold print)

Posted by: Dizoctor at July 17, 2004 04:17 PM

Alcohol could be a problem for a dog.

Posted by: Sido at September 6, 2005 09:46 PM

I think no one bothered to make stickers that say "This may make your pet drowsy" so they used the human stickers. My poodle lost his drivers license anyhow, too many DUI's.

Posted by: Tripod at December 14, 2005 03:13 AM

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