I’ve decided to start a new category, “What I Couldn’t Live Without,” and I’d like to post a product or useful device that makes my life as a small animal veterinarian easier on a daily basis. Today’s can’t-live-without item is Cerenia.
Cerenia, or maropitant, is a wonderful anti-emetic. It comes in two forms: oral tablets and injectable solution. I feel safe and confident using it in many of my vomiting cases. In fact, that’s one way I know something is seriously wrong–I gave them cerenia and they’re still vomiting. Of course, xrays/ultrasound are important for investigating causes of vomiting, but I don’t see any reason why a patient shouldn’t get a Cerenia injection if they’re feeling nauseated.
VIN (the Veterinary Information Network) had a Rounds discussion not so long ago on this very topic, entitled, “Cerenia: Is It The New Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Allergy, Analgesic, Anti-Emetic, Anti-Obesity, And Antidepressant Wonder Drug?” (if you’re a VIN subscriber, you can access that link; if you’re not a VIN subscriber, then I ask you, “Why not???“).
A summary of the Rounds is as follows:
- Cerenia (maropitant) is a tachykinin antagonist which acts by inhibiting the binding of substance P.
- Cerenia is labeled only for treatment of nausea and vomiting, but can potentially be used extra-label for pain, inflammation, GI disturbances, allergies and immune diseases, bladder inflammation, CNS and spinal cord injury, and mast cell diseases.
- Treatment schedules should be 5 days on, 2 days off or every other day as continuous dosing depletes substance P which leads to tremors.
With all these benefits, why wouldn’t it be one of my favorite drugs? The VIN discussion includes a lot of other really useful and interesting information (way more than I ever thought I wanted to know about Cerenia but am now glad to know!), and I encourage you to read it over.
Cerenia is labeled for dogs, but it can be used in cats too. In fact, I gave it to two different cats in one day recently. It’s also touted as a useful aid for motion sickness in dogs. It doesn’t cause drowsiness, unlike Dramamine, which I’ve also suggested for dogs who get sick while riding in the car.
Practice Tip: Cerenia stings, but it stings less if cold–so wee keep the bottle in the refrigerator! We’ll also give it with SC fluids (when indicated) to help reduce the sting.