A Message from Our Doctors

Regarding Online Pharmacies

6 Things your Veterinarian wants you to know about Online Pharmacies:

Not all online pharmacies are equal! Some pharmacies sell questionable medications. We always recommend buying medications directly from your veterinarian or veterinarian’s prescription management service: vetsource (check out our website here). If you do choose to buy your medication from an online pharmacy, ensure they are a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site. This is a voluntary certification program of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Some online pharmacies sell counterfeit medications. These medications look almost identical to the original medication. These medications vary from ineffective (putting your pet at risk for preventable diseases such as heartworms or fleas) to toxic (death has occurred in some cases). If you receive a medication in packaging that looks tampered with or unofficial, don’t give it.

Your veterinarian cannot guarantee how the medication was handled (temperature extremes) or if it is effective. Many drug companies (especially heartworm medications) will not standby their product if it is bought from unofficial sources.

Online pharmacies may send you expired medications. Always check the expiration date!

Online pharmacies may not provide specific instructions for each medication. When bought from your veterinary clinic, a veterinarian or veterinary technician can answer your questions or provide instructions for use! For example, Trifexis (a common heartworm and flea prevention) should always be given with food to prevent nausea and vomiting. An online pharmacy may not provide you with these instructions.

No veterinarian can legally prescribe medications without an up-to-date relationship with you and your pet (at least within the last 12 months). Even if you choose to buy medications from a source other than your veterinarian, a veterinarian must see your pet prior to prescribing medications.

The safest way to buy medications is through your veterinary clinic. If you choose to buy medications through online pharmacies, please follow the above guidelines. However, even with practicing those guidelines, the safety of online medications cannot be guaranteed. If you have any further questions please visit the FDA website or do not hesitate to contact your local veterinary office!

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