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A. Experts Warn Against Cheap Medical Fixes

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.