We are often asked about the safety of sweeteners such as malitol, sorbitol, sucralose and saccharin present as excipients in some medicines. These sweeteners are not hazardous to pets and are also well tolerated in overdose, although some can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

The only sweetener of concern is xylitol. This is present in many pharmaceutical products, usually liquids or chewable medicines. In dogs xylitol can cause hypoglycemia and liver failure. Xylitol is not harmful to cats and these signs have not been reported in this species. The reason for this difference is unclear.

You can check the excipients of human medicines on the eMC website.