Veterinary specials are unlicensed bespoke formulations that can help solve a problem when an animal needs a medicine but no suitable licensed product is available. Use of a special is only legally allowed when the following steps in the prescribing cascade have been considered first:
use of a suitable authorised alternative. A special should not contain the same active ingredient, at the same dose, in the same form, as an available authorised medicine;
a veterinary medicine authorised in the UK for use in another animal species, or for a different condition in the same species;
a medicine authorised in the UK for human use;
a veterinary medicine not authorised in the UK, but authorised in another member state for use in any animal species in accordance with the Special Import Scheme.
To learn more about special formulations, see the learning module.
How to use the database
This is a database of special formulations for cats and dogs that are routinely manufactured by specials companies. The purpose of the database is to help you locate a suitable product when necessary. You can search by generic drug name, formulation, therapeutic category and company. Each category has a blank area at the top of the drop-down menu, which you should select if you don’t want to use a particular category in your search. If there is no entry for dose or quantity, there may be several options available. Products need to be ordered directly from the relevant company.
We have made every effort to ensure that the guide is accurate and easy to use. If you spot anything that will help improve it, please let us know using the comments box at the end of this page.
Last updated May 2019. Next update due November 2019.