Side Effects of Cerenia for Cats: A Comprehensive Guide

Cerenia, with the active ingredient maropitant citrate, is a popular injectable solution used to treat vomiting in cats. But like any other medication, it comes with its own set of potential side effects. This article provides an in-depth look into the known side effects of Cerenia in our feline friends, backed by studies and post-approval experiences.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cerenia can be highly effective in treating vomiting in cats.
  • Adverse reactions may arise from its use, but many are rare.
  • Always consult your veterinarian about potential risks.

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FAQs: Cerenia Side Effects in Cats

1. What is Cerenia?

Cerenia Injectable Solution is primarily used to treat vomiting in cats aged 4 months and older. It’s essential for pet owners to understand that while Cerenia can effectively address vomiting, it does not cure the underlying cause. Therefore, always identify and treat the root cause of the vomiting.

2. Known Adverse Reactions in Field Studies

Based on a US field study, several reactions were observed in cats after the subcutaneous administration of Cerenia. These reactions include:

Adverse Reaction Placebo (n=62) CERENIA (n=133)
Moderate Response to Injection✓ 1.6% 22.6%
Significant Response to Injection✓ 1.6% 11.3%
Fever/Pyrexia 3.2% 1.5%
Dehydration 0% 2.3%
Lethargy 0% 1.5%
Anorexia 0% 0.8%
Hematuria 0% 0.8%
Hypersalivation 0% 0.8%
Injection site swelling 1.6% 0%

Note: ✓ Moderate Response indicates the cat retreated and vocalized during the injection. ✓ Significant Response means the cat retreated, hissed, scratched, and vocalized.

3. Post-Approval Adverse Events

After its approval, additional side effects were reported. While not all adverse events make it to the FDA’s reporting system, some noteworthy side effects include depression, anorexia, hypersalivation, pain upon injection, dyspnea, ataxia, fever, and in rare instances, convulsion and muscle tremor. There have also been cases of death, though direct causality to Cerenia hasn’t been definitively established.

4. Contraindications and Precautions

  • Cerenia is metabolized by specific enzymes, and its use should be approached with caution in patients with hepatic dysfunction.
  • It’s also highly protein-bound, which might interact with other medications that have similar properties.
  • The safety of Cerenia in pregnant or lactating cats or those used for breeding is not well-studied.

5. The Bottom Line

While Cerenia is a widely trusted solution for treating vomiting in cats, understanding its potential side effects is crucial. Always communicate with your veterinarian, monitor your cat’s reactions post-administration, and ensure that any side effects are quickly addressed.

FAQs: Cerenia Side Effects in Cats

Q1: Can Cerenia Be Administered to Cats Younger Than 4 Months?

No, Cerenia Injectable Solution is only approved for use in cats 4 months of age and older. The safety and effectiveness of this medication in younger kittens have not been established.

Q2: How Should I Respond If My Cat Exhibits Side Effects After Cerenia Administration?

If you notice any unusual reactions or side effects in your cat after administering Cerenia, contact your veterinarian immediately. They will be able to evaluate the severity of the symptoms and guide you on the necessary steps to ensure your cat’s safety.

Q3: Are There Any Specific Conditions Under Which I Should Avoid Using Cerenia for My Cat?

Cerenia should be used with caution in cats with hepatic dysfunction due to its metabolism involving specific enzymes. Additionally, if your cat has a gastrointestinal obstruction or has ingested toxins, the use of Cerenia may not be safe.

Q4: Can Cerenia Interact With Other Medications My Cat Is Taking?

Yes, Cerenia is highly protein-bound and can potentially interact with other medications that share this property. Common examples include NSAIDs, cardiac medications, anticonvulsants, and behavioral medications. Always inform your veterinarian about any other medications your cat is taking before starting Cerenia.

Q5: How Effective Is Cerenia in Treating Vomiting in Cats?

In clinical studies, Cerenia has shown significant effectiveness in reducing vomiting in cats. For example, in a field study, only 1.8% of Cerenia-treated cats vomited within the first 24 hours post-treatment, compared to 18.5% in the placebo group.

Q6: How Is Cerenia Administered, and What Is the Correct Dosage?

Cerenia can be administered either intravenously over 1-2 minutes or subcutaneously at a dosage of 1 mg/kg (0.45 mg/lb) of body weight. The treatment can be given once daily for up to 5 consecutive days.

Q7: What Are the Known Side Effects of Cerenia in Clinical Trials?

Known side effects from clinical trials include injection site reactions, fever, dehydration, lethargy, anorexia, hematuria, and hypersalivation. However, it’s crucial to remember that the frequency of these side effects is generally low.

Q8: Are There Any Long-Term Studies on the Effects of Cerenia in Cats?

While there have been extensive studies on the short-term use of Cerenia, long-term effects are less documented. Any long-term treatment plan involving Cerenia should be discussed and closely monitored by your veterinarian.

Q9: Can Cerenia Be Used as a Preventative Measure for Vomiting in Cats?

Cerenia is not typically used as a preventative medication for vomiting; instead, it is used to treat acute vomiting episodes. Addressing the underlying cause of the vomiting is crucial for a long-term solution.

Q10: Is There Anything Else I Need to Know Before Administering Cerenia to My Cat?

Ensure you follow your veterinarian’s instructions closely when administering Cerenia. Be aware of the potential side effects and interactions with other medications. If you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian for guidance.

Q11: What Should I Do If I Miss a Dose of Cerenia for My Cat?

In case you miss a dose, administer it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for the next scheduled dose, skip the missed one and continue with the regular dosing schedule. Avoid giving a double dose to make up for the missed one, as this could increase the risk of side effects.

Q12: How Should I Store Cerenia, and Does It Have a Shelf Life?

Cerenia should be stored at controlled room temperature, away from light and moisture. Keep it out of reach of children and pets. The medication does have a shelf life, as indicated on the packaging, and it should not be used beyond this date.

Q13: Can Cerenia Be Used to Treat Other Types of Gastrointestinal Distress in Cats?

Cerenia is specifically indicated for the treatment of acute vomiting in cats. While it may provide relief from nausea associated with gastrointestinal distress, it may not address the root cause of other gastrointestinal symptoms. Always consult with your veterinarian for the most appropriate treatment for your cat’s specific condition.

Q14: What Are the Signs That My Cat Is Having a Severe Reaction to Cerenia?

Signs of a severe reaction can include difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, tongue, or face, and severe skin rash or hives. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek emergency veterinary care immediately.

Q15: Are There Any Breeds of Cats That Are More Susceptible to Side Effects From Cerenia?

There is no documented evidence suggesting that specific cat breeds are more susceptible to side effects from Cerenia. However, individual cats may have varying sensitivities to medications, so it’s crucial to monitor your cat closely and report any adverse reactions to your veterinarian.

Q16: Is It Safe to Use Cerenia in Conjunction With Other Anti-Vomiting Medications?

The safety of using Cerenia alongside other anti-vomiting medications has not been extensively studied. Combining medications can increase the risk of interactions and side effects, so any decision to do so should be made under the guidance of your veterinarian.

Q17: Can Cerenia Be Used to Treat Nausea From Chemotherapy in Cats?

Cerenia has been shown to be effective in managing nausea and vomiting in cats, which can be beneficial for those undergoing chemotherapy. However, its use should be discussed with your veterinarian to ensure it’s appropriate for your cat’s specific situation.

Q18: Are There Any Natural or Homeopathic Alternatives to Cerenia for Treating Vomiting in Cats?

While there are natural and homeopathic remedies that claim to help manage nausea and vomiting in cats, their effectiveness and safety are not as well-established as medications like Cerenia. Before trying any alternative treatments, consult with your veterinarian to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your cat.

Q19: Can Changes in Diet Help Reduce the Need for Cerenia in Cats With Chronic Vomiting?

In some cases, dietary changes can help manage chronic vomiting in cats, potentially reducing the need for medications like Cerenia. A veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause of the vomiting and recommend appropriate dietary adjustments.

Q20: How Quickly Should I Expect to See Improvement in My Cat’s Condition After Administering Cerenia?

Improvement in vomiting symptoms can typically be seen within 1-2 hours after administering Cerenia. However, the response time can vary depending on the individual cat and the underlying cause of the vomiting. If you do not see improvement or if your cat’s condition worsens, contact your veterinarian.

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