Tapozole (Methimazole) in Cats

Tapazole is a drug used to treat hyperthyroidism in cats.  The generic name for tapazole is methimazole.  It acts by inhibiting iodine incorporation into thyroglobuin thereby interfering with the synthesis of thyroid hormones.  Originally, the drug only came in a pill form.  Since pilling cats is not always pleasant, the medication can be compounded into a liquid or cream by a compounding pharmacy.  The liquid is often flavored to appeal to a cat’s sense of taste although I have to warn you, most owners still have to force it down their cat’s throat.  If you can’t pill the cat, I recommend the cream.  A small amount is applied to the inside of the ear flap as directed.  The cat absorbs the medicine through its skin.  Side effects of this medicine include vomiting, anorexia and depression during the first three months of therapy.  The more serious side effects that occur with this drug are liver disease, blood abnormalities and self-induced excoriations which means the cat chews on its own skin causing harm.  To prevent these problems, cats on chronic therapy should visit their veterinarians for a physical and blood work every 6 months.     

Here’s a link to a video of Dr. Nelson discussing this top at eHow.com.  http://www.ehow.com/video_12300349_tapazole-cats.html

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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