FDA Approves Semintra, Animal Drug for the Control of High Blood Pressure in Cats

May 25, 2018

The following announcement was posted on the FDA’s site on May 24:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Semintra (telmisartan oral solution), the first FDA-approved animal drug to control systemic hypertension in cats.

Systemic hypertension (high blood pressure) occurs most commonly in cats with chronic kidney disease (CKD) but can also develop in cats with no identifiable underlying cause, or along with other chronic disease conditions. When left untreated, hypertension can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, heart, and the brain and central nervous system.

Telmisartan, the active ingredient in Semintra, is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). ARBs reduce blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.

Semintra is an oral solution administered either directly into the cat’s mouth or on top of a small amount of food. Initially Semintra is given twice a day for the first 14 days at 1.5 mg/kg and then decreased to once a day at 2.0 mg/kg.

The prescribing veterinarian should monitor the blood pressure regularly and adjust the dose as needed to maintain the blood pressure at the optimal level for the cat. Cats that have CKD should be monitored early in treatment for potential changes in kidney values. When starting treatment, all cats should be monitored for the development of anemia and changes in appetite, or for side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss.

Semintra is a prescription product because veterinary expertise is necessary to diagnose, treat and monitor the effects of treating hypertension.

Pregnant women should avoid any contact with Semintra because other similar drugs have been found to harm the unborn baby during pregnancy.

This application is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

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