Kitty Losing Weight? A New Drug May Help!
The FDA has approved a new drug, Mirataz™, to manage undesired weight loss in cats. Best of all for the kitties, it's absorbable through the skin, not given in pill form!
Many of our cats experience weight loss that accompanies other health issues such as dental problems, kidney disease, thyroid problems, or gastrointestinal issues. Due to their skill at masking disease, sometimes that's the first thing we notice that indicates our kitties are ill. While this drug does not treat the underlying disease, being at full weight can help the body's natural immune system work in tandem with treatment to help your cat recover more quickly.
Mirataz™, an ointment developed by Kindred Biosciences, Inc., is the first such branded treatment for feline weight loss. The company reports that it resulted in "significant weight gain in cats in as little as 14 days following topical application of 2 mg per day." While a generic mirtazapine ointment has been available from compounding pharmacies, this product uses a proprietary delivery technology they call Accusorb™ to ensure "measurable plasma concentrations" of the drug once given. Testing of the drug was accomplished thanks to a grant from the Winn Feline Foundation.
And if you've ever given your cat a pill (go ahead, look at your scars to prove it), you'll be thankful that Mirataz™ is given by applying a ribbon of ointment to the inside of your cat's ear pinna on a gloved finger. Gloves are recommended for applying it, since the drug is absorbed through the skin and you certainly don't want the weight-gaining properties of it to get into your own bloodstream!
Naturally, there are cautions: Mirataz™ is available by prescription from licensed veterinarians. It is not appropriate for cats being treated with MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors). Nor should it be given to kittens under 6 months old, or to pregnant or lactating mother cats. If your cat is being treated for liver or kidney disease, it should also be used with caution. After applying, you'll want to keep your cat isolated from any other feline companions for a couple of hours, so they can't lick off the ointment before it is absorbed. Monitor your cat's food intake once you stop giving the drug. Some cats during the trials had a mild reaction at the application site, while others exhibited hyperactivity and vocalization or vomiting after receiving it.
For more complete information on Mirataz™, visit Kindred Biosciences, Inc.'s website.