Metamizole for Cats - Dosage, Uses and Availability
See files for Cats
Also known as dipyrone, metamizole is an analgesic drug which is used to treat various health issues in human medicine. In addition to being a painkiller, it is also used for its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects. These properties have led to its use in various treatments, especially those related to pre- or postoperative care. Uses in veterinary medicine do occur, but it is not a drug which is available in all markets. This is due to potential side effects and contraindications of the drug.
At AnimalWised, we investigate metamizole for cats. We look at the uses, dosage and side effects of this drug, as well as its availability in veterinary medicine.
What is metamizole for cats?
Metamizole is a drug which is known as a sulfonic acid. It can present in various salts, including calcium, sodium and magnesium forms. It is a non-opioid analgesic with antispasmodic, antipyretic and mild anti-inflammatory effects. Its anti-inflammatory effects can also provide muscle relaxant effects. It is included in the group of drug compounds known as pyrazolones.
Preparations of metamizole include oral tablet and injectable solution form. Although it is used in some markets for both human and veterinary medicine, its use is more common as an injectable solution in veterinary medicine. Metamizole is sold under various trade names, including Novalgin, Algocalmin and Nolotil for cats. Metamizole is used in various markets across the world, but it is not available in all countries. See below for more details.
Despite its mild anti-inflammatory effect, metamizole is not a usually considered non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Learn about different feline NSAIDs with our articles on Onsior for cats and carprofen for cats.
Uses of metamizole for cats
Metamizole is generally used for treating acute processes. These are illnesses which do not last for a prolonged period of time, i.e. non-chronic. They are used to treat moderate to strong pain. For this reason, it is usually prescribed for the following:
- Visceral pain
- Traumatic pain
- Arthritis, neuralgia or neuritis
- Dystocia (labor pains)
When the pain is more severe, it is more likely metamizole will be used in an injectable format. In veterinary uses, metamizole is not often used for mild pain, so tablets are not common when it is administered to cats. Regardless, it should only be a qualified veterinarian who prescribes this drug. They will need to examine the cat to assess their pain mediation needs.
Partly thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, metamizole is often used in pre- or postoperative care. When a veterinarian is determining anesthetic protocol for a feline's surgery, they may use metamizole as a preventive pain medication. This may help with postoperative recovery of the animal.
Since metamizole is mainly used to treat moderate-to-severe pain, it is often used clinically. Cats are adept at being able to hide their pain, something you can learn more about with our article on signs of pain in cats.
Metamizole dosage for cats
As stated above, administration of metamizole should only take place under the direction of a qualified veterinary professional. This is decided based on their clinical picture and the nature of the illness being treated. The dosage of metamizole for cats will also depend on the administration route. Injectable metamizole can be intramuscular, subcutaneous or intravenous, all of which will be administered by the veterinarian.
As an example, a dose of injectable metamizole intramuscularly or intravenously would be around 0.2 ml for every 5 kg of the cat's weight. This dose can be given up to three times a day or just once, depending on the veterinarian's discretion. Oral metamizole it can be administered in the form of oral solution drops directly into the cat's mouth or diluted in water. This can be repeated every 4-6 hours.
Supervision of the treatment by the veterinarian is always necessary. Prolonged use of metamizole is not recommended in most cases, so the veterinarian may need to reassess the cat's pain mediation if the pain becomes chronic.
Contraindications of metamizole for cats
Metamizole is not recommended for cats in the following cases:
- If they are taking other drugs, such as barbiturates, chlorpromazine or phenylbutazone.
- If they suffer from any alteration in the blood cells.
- When they are diagnosed with chronic gastrointestinal, liver or kidney disease.
- In cats allergic to this active ingredient or any of its excipients.
- It is not recommended for pregnant cats or during the lactation period since it passes into breast milk.
- Extreme precautions must be taken in the case of very old cats or those with cardiovascular diseases.
Learn more about feline cardiovascular disease treatment with our guide to heart problems in cats.
Side effects of metamizole for cats
Although metamizole is considered a safe drug in many markets, it is known to cause certain adverse effects. When metamizole is administered by subcutaneous injection it can cause irritation right at the injection site. It must also be taken into account that the risk of bleeding increases due to suppression of prothrombin formation, which is a protein that is part of the coagulation process. An overdose of this medication can cause seizures.
Cases of agranulocytosis and other diseases have been reported in human use of metamizole. However, veterinary investigation into these processes have not proved conclusive.
Availability of metamizole for cats
Metamizole is available in various markets under the trade name Nolotil, such as Spain and Mexico. However, its use has been banned in various markets, often due to its association with the blood disorder agranulocytosis. Metamizole for cats is currently not available in the United States and the United Kingdom. In other territories it is sold as an over-the-counter medication while some others may only allow it under prescription.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Metamizole for Cats - Dosage, Uses and Availability, we recommend you visit our Medicine category.
- Argueta Lopez, R., & Argueta Garcia, R. (2016). Tramadol and metamizole in preventive analgesia I. Veterinary Portal.