General Description : Silymarin is used in pets to treat a variety of liver diseases. It has also been found to have liver protectant properties in cases where toxic agents have been consumed. Numerous herbal brands are available as seed extracts. Veterinary brands may include Vitamin E and phosphatidyl choline or SAMe. Consult with your veterinarian to choose the best product for your pet.
What is this drug?
Acts as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger
Protects and supports healthy liver function
Given by mouth
Reasons for prescribing:
Used in the treatment of various liver diseases. It may not be helpful in all liver diseases but it is a safe substance if used with your veterinarian’s advice
Has been shown to be useful in the some poisonings that affect the liver
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
Use with caution in pregnant and nursing animals as safety is unknown
If your pet has had an earlier allergic reaction to silymarin or is allergic to similar plants (ex. ragweed, marigold, daisies, etc.)
Read and follow the label carefully.
Silymarin is usually given once daily and can be used long-term.
Check on the product label if the product should be given with or without food.
Nutraceutical products are not regulated by the FDA. As such, they have not been required to go through the same rigorous testing for efficacy that drugs undergo. There may be great variation in strength between brands or even between batches of the same brand. Yet there are many quality products on the market that are made by reputable companies. Consult with your veterinarian to choose a sound product for your pet.
What if a dose is missed?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
When will your pet need to be rechecked
What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
What are the risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medicines can be given together.
If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:
Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
Potential side effects:
This medication is usually well tolerated
Stomach upset is possible (nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea) especially at high doses
Humans report stomach upset, headaches, joint pain and weakness
If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian
Can this drug be given with other drugs?
Yes, there are no known drug interactions with silymarin
If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet receives more than the prescribed amount.
What else should I know?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, silymarin should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
This is just a summary of information about silymarin. If you have any questions or concerns about silymarin or the condition it was prescribed for, contact your veterinarian.