August 29, 2018

UPDATE: New Feline Heartworm Preventive Now Available

Centragard, which prevents infection with heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms in cats and kittens, is now available.
By Kerry Lengyel
UPDATE (August 29) — Boehringer Ingelheim has announced the official launch of Centragard (eprinomectin and praziquantel transdermal solution). Approved by the FDA in April, Centragard is indicated for the prevention of heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis, which is spread through the bite of mosquitoes. The topical medication is applied monthly and available by prescription only.

Centragard is also approved for the treatment and control of roundworms (adult and fourth-stage larval Toxocara cati), hookworms (adult and fourth-stage larval Ancylostoma tubaeforme, adult Ancylostoma braziliense), and tapeworms (adult Dipylidium caninum and Echinococcus multilocularis) in cats and kittens 7 weeks of age and older and weighing at least 1.8 lb.

It is the first and only product to protect against this spectrum of parasites in a transdermal formulation.

According to the American Heartworm Society, 1 in 4 cats diagnosed with heartworm disease are indoor-only pets. "All it takes is one mosquito to transmit heartworms to your cat—and just a few heartworms can lead to severe signs, possibly death," explained Zach Mills, DVM head of US pet veterinary professional services at Boehringer Ingelheim. "Now cat owners have a new option to protect their cats."

A new heartworm preventive has just received FDA approval. Centragard (eprinomectin and praziquantel transdermal solution)—manufactured by Merial, now a part of Boehringer Ingelheim—is indicated for the prevention of heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis, which spreads through the bite of mosquitoes. It is also approved for the treatment and control of roundworms (adult and fourth-stage larval Toxocara cati), hookworms (adult and fourth-stage larval Ancylostoma tubaeforme, adult Ancylostoma braziliense), and tapeworms (adult Dipylidium caninum and Echinococcus multilocularis) in cats and kittens 7 weeks of age and older and weighing at least 1.8 lb. The topical medication is applied monthly and available by prescription only.

The incidence of heartworm disease is on the rise, with the average number of positive cases per veterinary practice inching slowly upward. And because there is no approved treatment for heartworm infection in cats, prevention is critical.

Centragard should be administered as follows:
Cat Weight (lb) Volume (mL)
1.8–5.5 0.3
5.6–16.5 0.9
16.6–22.0 0.3 + 0.9
22.1–33.0 0.9 + 0.9

The effectiveness of Centragard was demonstrated in 18 controlled laboratory studies with no adverse effects reported in any of the 226 cats administered the labeled dose. The study results indicate that Centragard is effective against induced heartworm infections after a single dose, as well as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms after a single dose or when given monthly as a preventive.

Three controlled laboratory studies and 1 controlled field study demonstrated the safety of Centragard. Adverse reactions included vomiting, anorexia, lethargy, alopecia, and application site hair change.

For more information about Centragard, visit the FDA website.

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