One of the most overlooked topics in veterinary medicine surrounds the issue of drug interactions and the side effects of medication. In the middle of a busy veterinary practice, many veterinarians often fail to take the time to discuss these possibilities. For example, many commonly prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can sometimes cause digestive upset and/or liver/kidney problems in some sensitive pets. Corticosteroids like Prednisone can cause similar problems in some pets, as well as predispose pets to diabetes with prolonged use.
While a topic of debate, these risks are increased if Prednisone and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used together. While potentially life saving, antibiotics can also cause allergic reactions from digestive upset to skin eruptions. Some pets are sensitive to topical flea and tick medications, and in my practice I always use flea and tick medication on a separate day from heartworm preventative medication administration or vaccinations, in order to lessen the burden on a pet’s immune system.
Whenever multiple drugs are prescribed it is always important for clients to ask questions and/or veterinarians to make them aware of these issues, as veterinarians not only prescribe medication but are also dispensing medications in private practice much like pharmacists do for humans and at 1800PetMeds.