An Arthritis Medication Tailored for Feline Comfort
Finding effective pain relief for cats can be challenging, as they often don’t tolerate common pain medications well. It’s crucial to remember that cats have unique sensitivities, and what may work for dogs or humans may not be suitable for them. In response to this, a medication has been specifically formulated to address arthritis discomfort in cats. While it has been successfully utilized in other countries, it is now accessible in the U.S.
Osteoarthritis, often referred to as arthritis or degenerative joint disease, is the target of this innovative medication. As cartilage, the protective tissue in joints, deteriorates over time, bones may start to rub against each other. This leads to inflammation and the onset of arthritis. Unfortunately, this condition is both progressive and irreversible. Without intervention, chronic pain will persist and impact your cat’s ability to move freely, jump, walk, and engage in regular activities, affecting their overall quality of life.
Solensia™ is the branded name of the prescription drug frunevetmab. It is not available over the counter and must be administered by a licensed veterinarian. This subcutaneous injection is typically given on a monthly basis, with some cases suggesting that two injections may be necessary for noticeable improvement. Depending on your cat’s weight, one or two vials may be required, and overweight cats may benefit from an additional vial.
How it Operates
Solensia™ functions by blocking pain signals through specific binding with a protein known as nerve growth factor (NGF). Elevated NGF levels are associated with inflammation and pain, particularly in arthritic joints. Due to its highly selective nature as a monoclonal antibody, Solensia™ specifically targets and neutralizes NGF, resulting in reduced pain perception. This selectivity may render it a safer option compared to other pain control medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Most cats demonstrate enhanced mobility within the initial three weeks.
- Solensia™ should not be administered to cats known to have hypersensitivity to its primary ingredient, frunevetmab.
- It is not recommended for use in breeding cats or in pregnant or nursing mothers.
- The most commonly observed side effects include vomiting and mild injection site discomfort.
- This medication is intended for use in cats only.
- Pregnant veterinarians, as well as those trying to conceive or breastfeeding, should exercise extreme caution to avoid accidental self-injection. This precaution does not pertain to cat owners, as only licensed veterinarians can administer this medication.
Authored by Dawn M. Boothe, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVCP
Date Published: 01/24/2023