Narrator: This is Science Today. There have been reports of a disturbing trend in which people are purchasing medication at the pet store in an effort to inexpensively self-treat their ailment. Dr. Don Klingborg, an expert in veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis, says doctors' reports of this phenomenon have surfaced in medical and veterinary journals.Klingborg: People coming to them with sicknesses had previously treated themselves primarily with drugs that they bought from pet stores that were designed for treating aquarium fish.
Narrator: There are many factors why, including cost and lack of insurance. But also, some veterinary medicines have similar names or active ingredients used in human antibiotics - ampicillin is one example.
Klingborg: The problem is that ampicillin isn't always ampicillin. It can come in a variety of different strengths and it can be formulated in a couple different kinds of ampicillin and so just because it says ampicillin, doesn't mean it's the ampicillin you and I would take for ourselves or give to our children.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.