Human health hazards of veterinary medications: Information for emergency departments

Elaine Blythe Lust, Claudia Barthold, Mark A. Malesker, Tammy O. Wichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background: There are over 5000 approved prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as vaccines, with labeled indications for veterinary patients. Of these, there are several products that have significant human health hazards upon accidental or intentional exposure or ingestion in humans: carfentanil, clenbuterol (Ventipulmin), ketamine, tilmicosin (Micotil), testosterone/estradiol (Component E-H and Synovex H), dinoprost (Lutalyse/Prostamate), and cloprostenol (Estromate/EstroPlan). The hazards range from mild to life-threatening in terms of severity, and include bronchospasm, central nervous system stimulation, induction of miscarriage, and sudden death. Objective: To report medication descriptions, human toxicity information, and medical management for the emergent care of patients who may have had exposure to veterinary medications when they present to an emergency department (ED). Discussion: The intended use of this article is to inform and support ED personnel, drug information centers, and poison control centers on veterinary medication hazards. Conclusion: There is a need for increased awareness of the potential hazards of veterinary medications within human medicine circles. Timely reporting of veterinary medication hazards and their medical management may help to prepare the human medical community to deal with such exposures or abuses when time is of the essence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-207
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine


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