Transdermal Therapy for Cats

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Transdermal Methimazole Therapy for Hyperthyroid Cats

Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine disease of older cats. The most common clinical signs of hyperthyroidism in cats include weight loss, increased appetite (although some patients have decreased appetite), vomiting, increased thirst and urination, hyperactivity, and diarrhea. The high levels of thyroid hormones can cause the development of heart disease.

Methimazole is an anti-thyroid medication used to treat cats, and is now available from compounding pharmacies in a transdermal gel for those patients that are difficult to pill. Transdermal gels are applied to the inner ear and the medication is absorbed across the skin. Simple precautions must be taken to avoid inadvertent absorption of the drug by the person administering the medication.

Anti-thyroid drugs like methimazole do not offer a cure for hyperthyroidism but rather act to reduce thyroid hormone production and thus lessen its effects on various organ systems. Veterinarians at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University treated hyperthyroid cats with transdermal methimazole and assessed serum thyroxine concentrations and clinical response. Clinical improvement was observed, and significant decreases in thyroxine concentrations were measured at recheck-1 and recheck-2. No adverse effects were reported.

J Feline Med Surg 2003 Apr;5(2):77-82 (accessed 1/21/04)

Copyright 2004, Storey Marketing – Veterinary Website Updates. Reproduction prohibited. Questions regarding this article should be directed to the compounding professionals at Martin Avenue Pharmacy, Inc.