Animal & Veterinary

FDA Consumer Advice on Pet Exposure to Prescription Topical Pain Medications Containing Flurbiprofen

Key Advice

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners who use prescription topical pain medications containing flurbiprofen to use care when using them in a household with pets.

Pets are at risk of illness and death when exposed to certain pain medications applied to the skin of their owners. Even very small amounts of flurbiprofen, such as a slight amount left on a cloth applicator, could be dangerous to pets.

This advice follows reports made to the FDA of cats in two households that became ill or died after their owners used prescription-strength topical medications containing flurbiprofen on themselves to treat muscle, joint, or other pain. The pet owners had applied the cream or lotion to their own neck or feet, and not directly to the pet, and it is not known exactly how the cats became exposed to the medication.

 The products contained the flurbiprofen and the muscle relaxer cyclobenzaprine, as well as other varying active ingredients, including baclofen, gabapentin, lidocaine, or prilocaine. Flurbiprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
 

Who should knowPet owners who use topical pain medications containing flurbiprofen.
What to do
  • Store all medications safely out of the reach of pets.
  • Pet owners who use topical pain medications containing flurbiprofen should take care to prevent exposure of the pet to the medication.
  • Consult your health care provider on whether it is appropriate to cover up the treated area to prevent your pet from being exposed.
  • Safely discard or clean any cloth or applicator that may retain medication and avoid leaving any residues of the medication on clothing, carpeting or furniture.
  • If you are using topical medications containing flurbiprofen and your pet becomes exposed, bathe or clean your pet as thoroughly as possible and consult a veterinarian.
  • If your pet shows signs such as lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, or other illness, seek veterinary care for your pet and be sure to provide the details of the exposure.
  • Pet owners and veterinarians can also report any adverse events to the FDA.
     
Why this advice is importantEven very small exposure to flurbiprofen can be potentially life-threatening to pets.

 

Page Last Updated: 04/17/2015
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