Rumors of Misuse of Veterinary Drugs

The AVMA is aware of rumors that teenagers are using veterinary products to abort unwanted pregnancies. The names mentioned in these anecdotal reports include Lutalyse® (and other drugs called prostaglandins), Cystorelin®, Gonadorelin® and Factrel®. The reported cases have not been confirmed, and we do not know the scope of the problem. We are maintaining contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state veterinary medical associations about this issue.

When used appropriately, these drugs are safe and used by veterinarians to regulate animals' heat cycles and improve the efficiency of animal breeding. In animals, these medications can cause mild to severe abdominal pain, sweating and hyperthermia (increased body temperature), diarrhea, and abortion. The products are labeled for use only by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. Veterinarians know how to safely handle these drugs and when it is appropriate to use them.

Whether or not these rumors prove true, we encourage veterinarians to remain vigilant about storing, distributing, prescribing and using these drugs to prevent misuse. In addition, producers and other animal owners who may have these drugs on their shelves should take extra precautions to prevent theft.

To teens considering the use of these drugs, we want you to know it is NOT safe—and could be life-threatening—to use these drugs in this way.