The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning pet owners, veterinarians, healthcare providers, and pharmacists that pets are at risk of illness and death when exposed to topical pain medications containing flurbiprofen.
There were initial reports of cats in two homes that fell ill or died after their owners used topical medications containing flurbiprofen on themselves for muscle, joint, or other pain. The owners applied the cream or lotion to their neck or feet and not directly to the pet; it is not known how the cats were exposed to the medication. The medications contained flurbiprofen and cyclobenzaprine in addition to other ingredients, including baclofen, gabapentin, lidocaine, or prilocaine. Necropsies on the 3 deceased cats revealed evidence of NSAID toxicity in the kidneys and intestines.
Flurbiprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) approved for treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant indicated for relief of acute muscle spasm, as adjunct to rest and physical therapy.
The FDA recommends that people using topical medications containing flurbiprofen should prevent exposure to their pets. Prescribers and pharmacists should also advise pet owners to take care in preventing medication exposure to their pets.
For more information visit FDA.gov.