Do I Need a Prescription to Buy an IV Bag of Plain Normal Saline (0.9% NaCl)?

I’m talking about saline that can be administered intravenously or subcutaneously, NOT a contact lens solution. My cat is dehydrated and I have a friend who is a veterinary technician, so she knows how to insert IVs on cats and dogs. I know, it’s not technically a drug, but can I buy one at any pharmacy without a prescription?
I have never seen NaCl bags OTC. Of course you don’t need a prescription for over the couter drugs, that is why they are over the counter. Like I said, I’m talking about a clinical-quality IV bag of NS. JUST saline, no drugs to push into it.
The Vet thinks the cause of his dehydration is from Feline Hyperthyroidism. We aren’t 100% sure yet. We’re waiting on the lab results to confirm the Dx. For now, all we can do is keep hI am comfortable and hydrated. I’m giving hI am 1 oz of Pedialyte q2h.

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  1. Yes, you need a prescription. And yes, from the perspective of the FDA, DEA, and likely your state pharmacy board, it is considered a drug. As such, purchasing it requires a pharmacy board drug license.

  2. Krashevil says:

    anything that is over the counter you don’t need a prescription

  3. shining_epiphany says:

    Call around and ask. If you can’t then try a farm supply place you can usually get medical supplies without a prescription.

  4. You really should take the cat to a vet to determine the cause of his dehydration

  5. Your veterinary technician friend cannot legally give any treatment to your pet (including IV or SQ fluids) without having a veterinary order to do so. Without the vet’s recommendation for care, your friend runs the risk of getting in trouble for practicing veterinary medicine without a license. And if your vet has recommended that your cat have fluids to maintain hydration then you should be able to get the fluids, fluid lines, and needles or IV catheters from your vet. However, your friend needs to be available to monitor IV fluids closely or you can overhydrate your cat and cause serious health issues. If your vet wants fluids given at home, it is much more likely that he will prescribe SQ fluids which have much less risk of overhydration associated.

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