The FDA has recently released a new statement that is making the rounds on social media. It talks about the potential for adverse neurological events associated with drugs in the isoxazoline class (ie. Flea and tick products). Neurological events include tremors, ataxia and seizures. People should be aware that these are very rare side effects and the FDA statement also says that these products continue to be safe and effective for the majority of animals.
This statement is primarily a clarification by the FDA of known and rare side effects. In general it is a concern for pets with a history of seizure activity and we would not prescribe these products to a pet with uncontrolled seizures. The neurological side effects were reported initally but were not clearly spelled out so the FDA is asking the manufacturers of these drugs to make their inserts more clear.
If a patient has not had a problem being on this class of drug (ie. Bravecto, Nexgard, Simparica) in the past we do not expect this to change with continued use. I have my own dog on one of these products and will certainly continue to keep him on it. The health risks associated with various tick borne diseases and flea infestation is certainly higher to me than the rare chance of seizure activity.
If you have any further questions or concerns about this topic(or any other!) please don’t hesitate to contact us at Kawartha Animal Hospital.
Dr Erin Bond