Monday, June 15, 2009

FDA Approves Felimazole for the Treatment of Feline Hyperthyroidism

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the drug Felimazole for the treatment of hyperthyroidism in cats.

Feline hyperthyroidism occurs when too much of the thyroid hormone T4 circulates in the body. Symptoms can range from milk to severe. Some of the most common symptoms of feline hyperthyroidism include: increased appetite, weight loss, vomiting, muscle weakness, diarrhea, nervousness, high heart rate, increased urination and drinking, heavy/labored breathing, and poor coat.

Hyperthyroidism is a very common condition in middle-aged and senior cats. Field studies were conducted in the United Kingdom and the United States in order to determine the effectiveness and safety of the drug for cats. In the United Kingdom study, 77% of cats had normal T4 levels and 81% of felines had reduced condition severity by day 42 of treatment with the medication. In the United States, cats also had significantly lower T4 levels and improved signs of the disease by day 42 of the treatment. A total of 166 cats were treated with the drug during these studies.

According to the FDA, the most common side effects of Felimazole are: diarrhea, vomiting, a change in food consumption - either a decrease or an increase - and lethargy.

If you believe your cat may be suffering from hyperthyroidism, please visit your vet in order to have your cat examined. Most of the time, vets can perform a simple blood panel to determine if your cat has hyperthyroidism or another disease with similar symptoms.

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