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FDA warns pet owners about possible side effects of flea, tick drugs

Sept. 21 (UPI) — Drugs that are supposed to protect dogs and cats from fleas and ticks could have adverse nerve reactions, the federal officials have warned pet owners.

Flea and tick drugs protect dogs and cats from fleas and ticks that carry a range of diseases like Lyme disease, but the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday owners and veterinarians need more warning of the potential side effects.

The FDA said in an alert there’s potential for neurological adverse events — like seizures — with flea and tick drugs in the isoxazoline class.

“The FDA is working with manufacturers of isoxazoline products to include new label information to highlight neurologic events because these events were seen consistently across the isoxazoline class of products,” it said.

The agency said it issued the warning to make sure pet owners and veterinarians take the potential reactions into consideration when choosing products.

“The agency is asking the manufacturers to make the changes to the product labeling in order to provide veterinarians and pet owners with the information they need to make treatment decisions for each pet on an individual basis,” the FDA said.

FDA-approved drugs that contain the pesticide isoxazoline are sold under the brand names Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard and Simparica.

“Isoxazoline products have been associated with neurologic adverse reactions, including muscle tremors, ataxia, and seizures in some dogs and cats,” the alert said. “Although most dogs and cats haven’t had neurologic adverse reactions, seizures may occur in animals without a prior history.

“If your pet experiences a bad reaction from a spot-on product, immediately bathe the pet with mild soap, rinse with large amounts of water, and call your veterinarian.”


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