Pharmacy Services

Flurbiprofen-Containing Topical Pain Medications Associated with Pet Illness or Death

April 26, 2015

Exposure to compounded topical products containing flurbiprofen may cause illness and death in household pets. Topical flurbiprofen products may contain additional ingredients including cyclobenzaprine, baclofen, lidocaine, or gabapentin. FDA has received reports of 5 cats that developed adverse effects following indirect exposure to topical flurbiprofen products. The topical flurbiprofen products were applied to the pet owners’ feet or neck, but the exact route of exposure to the pets is unknown. Two exposed cats developed renal failure and recovered with veterinary treatment. Three other cats showed symptoms of poor appetite, vomiting, black or bloody stools, and weakness and eventually died. Necropsies revealed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced toxicity in the intestines and kidneys.  

FDA encourages pet owners to be cautious when using topical medications containing flurbiprofen. Limit medication exposure to pets as much as possible. Do not store medications within reach of pets. Clean any fabrics or surfaces that touch medicated skin. If the pet does become exposed, thoroughly bathe the pet and contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. Submit reports of adverse pet effects to FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program or the Veterinary Adverse Event Voluntary Reporting Program (http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/
ReportaProblem/ucm055305.htm
).

Additional information is available at the following links:

Updated
April 23, 2015; University of Utah, Drug Information Service. Copyright 2015, Drug Information Service, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.