Onsior for cat pain


By Elisa Black-Taylor
ONSIOROnsior is a fairly new medication used to treat cat pain. Before this drug became available in June 2012, a cat owner had little else to choose from when their cat was in need of drug therapy. You had Metacam, which has proven to be at the least unpredictable and at the worst deadly. Or you had Buprenorphine, a drug 30 times more powerful than morphine and in the opiate family.

Onsior has a website that tells more about the drug, classified as an NSAID. It’s similar to meloxicam and celebrex used for pain management in people. Their company webpage states

“Pain delays recovery, impacts negatively on a patient’s well being, and disturbs the bond with its owner and also the veterinary team.”

The small, yeast-flavored 6 mg. tablets provide a full 24 hours of pain relief. It’s primary uses are for postoperative pain associated with orthopedic surgery, hysterectomy and castration in cats. Onsior reaches maximum concentration in only 30 minutes via the intestinal tract, and is eliminated from the blood within two to four hours via the biliary route.

Onsior is recommended only for three days. It’s usually given half an hour prior to surgery, then 24 hours later the cat gets a second dose, followed by the final dose 24 hours after the second dose. The drug is sold in a blister-pack holding three pills. The pills are around $3 each. For cats over 13 1/2 pounds, two tablets daily are required.

In a field study, the most commonly reported adverse reactions were surgical site bleeding, infected surgery sites, lethargy, vomiting, and appetite reduction. Onsior should not be used in cats that have a hypersensitivity to robenacoxib or known intolerance to NSAIDs. It also can’t be administered with any other NSAID or with corticosteroids.

The most common side effects are lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite and increased bleeding time. Clinical studies on cats dosed up to 5 to 10 times the daily dose for 6 weeks to 6 months, reported no deaths and/or encountered clinical side effects resolved upon termination of medication.

I read several reviews where Onsior was used to treat arthritis in cats. This confused me, because the drug is marketed for short term use for mild to moderate pain. I don’t know how long term use would eventually affect a cat. Especially since it takes years for some drug companies to warn the public about negative consequences. NSAIDS are notorious for causing gastrointestinal upset. Hopefully it won’t cause something medical to pop up five or ten years down the road.

Having rescued several injured cats, we’ve used all three drugs for pain management. Although Metacam didn’t cause any side effects, I was on edge after reading up on it’s negative reviews. Our cat Sealy was on liquid Buprenorphine after his two operations. Since it’s a narcotic, it left him quite drugged. Other than that, he experienced no side effects. He sat in his cage and stared at us, or he ate. It was clear he was on strong medication. Sealy was on the drug for several weeks, and we “weaned” him off of it, being an addictive opiate.

The Onsior was definitely the clear winner, used after spaying. No side effects at all and they drug appeared to do what it claimed it could do-reduce pain. No “zombie cat” from using this drug. It will be the drug of choice, should any of our cats require short term pain medication in the future.

Have any of the readers used Onsior? I’m curious whether it’s been prescribed for long-term use for pain. It would be rather expensive, should a cat need to stay on it for longer than the three day recommendation.

Elisa

Refs:

  1. http://www.theuniversityanimalclinic.com/
  2. http://us.onsior.com/
Facebook Comments

Comments

Onsior for cat pain — 19 Comments

  1. I have wondered about this and think about my very arthritic cat, Lucky.
    I don’t know about long term use effects either, Elisa; but, I’m going to ask my vet.
    She is old and groans when she lies down.
    If it will help and the benefits outwegh the effects, I’ll go for it.

  2. The only drawback I see is the cost. It would be close to $100 a month for the medication and since it’s a fairly new drug the vet would likely want to do periodic bloodwork to be sure it doesn’t damage the liver or kidneys. As far as side effect mine didn’t have any. It can suppress the appetite, so watch out for that.

  3. I know feline pain relief is problematic so if this new drug deals with some of the dangers and is the safest while being effective then that is good news for cats. I am sure there are many examples of cats injured or killed through maladministration of pain killers.

  4. My 13 y.o. tabby has severe degenerative joint disease and is being put on Osion long term. She also does periodical drug tests, but If there are side effects down the road, I will make the tough decisions then. For, not I am enjoying my kitty that is feeling loads better. May have some unknown side effect, but if I get 3 more years of her sweet face, I’ll be happy so long as she is comfortable.

  5. I realize this response is long after the original posting but I felt I could contribute, at least an additional opinion. My 14yr old male cat was diagnosed with arthritis almost 2 years ago. The vet put him on Onsior 3x a week, and also gave him Buprenex for any acute pain. Fortunately, I have not had to give him the Buprenex since the original diagnosis. It seems to work wonders for his pain, and there aren’t any noticeable side effects. He has had a complete blood panel once a year since starting Onsior and the results have all been within normal ranges. I often think about the long term effects but when I weigh any unknown risk vs his immediate comfort, it is a risk I am willing to take. I have also made adjustments for him around my home to better accommodate his limitations. I have pet stairs for my bed, and for the sofa, an orthopedic bed for him that I added a heating pad to for additional comfort, and lastly a front entry litter box (used to have a top entry that I loved but he seemed to struggle with). All of these changes have resulted in the return of my sweet, cuddly baby!

    • Hi Catherine: I was hoping you would share an update 🙂 My 14 (almost 15yo) girl was diagnosed with arthritis 2yrs ago as well. Recent xrays revealed moderate arthritis in her back hips, and severe arthritis in her lower back close to her tail. 2 of her vertebra are actually touching, so the intervertebral disc has worn away. Like you, I made adjustments for her when she was diagnosed 2 yrs ago: pet steps, orthopedic beds, laser therapy, Cosequin, but her arthritis is worsening. She shuffles around the house and (this may sound silly) I never see her do the classic ‘kitty stretch’ (where they stretch their front legs in front of them, then stand up and stretch their back legs behind them). I completely agree with your statement that weighing the unknown risk vs their immediate comfort is a risk you’re willing to take.

      The doctor prescribed Onsior for her but only for a limited 2-day use. She’s shown some improvement on it even though I’m only giving her 1/4 of the pill (1.5mg), so I’m encouraged and considering talking with the vet about giving this to her (even 1.5mg or 3mg) on a longer-term maintenance basis. She even did the “kitty stretch” before eating last night, which I haven’t seen her do in probably a year.

      I just wanted to check in with you to determine how your baby was doing and whether his blood panels were still normal?

  6. After what Mitzy has experienced with 3 drugs from the vet, I’d opt for cannabis for pain, from CannaPet.

    But I realize that many people on this site may not have experience with cannabis, and
    are fearful. I grew it, and used it for serious arthritis pain, mostly in the form of
    edibles. It helped with the pain, and the depression.

    More information is being revealed about so many benefits to what I call “nature’s gift”. I trust it more than any pharmaceutical.

  7. I am very interested in trying Onsior for longer term, on my 19y.o arthritic cat. A couple of weeks ago, her condition worsened to some pretty serious lameness. We used Onsior for 3 days thanks to our terrific Vet, and Tillie’s bounce-back was really remarkable, particularly helpful with back leg/hip weakness. Now, 2+ weeks after the first spell, she is seriously lame again. My vet is open to the idea of trying Onsior longer term — either as needed or maybe one treatment every week or two. So I’m interested in hearing more about off label dosing in these kitties. My main goal is to make her more comfortable, and she had no digestive upset that we could see from the initial usage. She’s old, so balancing quality of life off against long term kidney or whatever function is what we’re after. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Patty, thanks for visiting and asking. To be honest I don’t know the answer for sure. However, the information provided states clearly that 3 days is the max and there are some potential considerable side effects even when used as stated. I have a gut feeling that this pain killer should not be used in the long term. And that is based on a risk/reward basis.

      There may be a middle ground in administering a low dose for a long time which may benefit your cat while minimising potential side effects. Sorry I can’t be helpful. Best of luck to you both.

  8. I have had my 13 year old cat on Onsior to help with her joint problems for a couple of months now, without noticing any side effects. However, I did notice quite a difference once she started taking a natural supplement called Seraquin. We’ve got our cat back now! She cat sit upright, she can run and play and even jumps onto the shed on a good day. Hope this helps 🙂

      • Hi everyone. I thought I’d chime in, too, since my baby guy has been battling arthritis the last 2 months. He is 16 or 17 (I found him as a baby when I was a teenager but not sure which age). Needless to say we are super duper close, as you all know! I feel terrible that I just noticed he was having trouble lying down and jumping recently, as it seems like it came out of nowhere but as I keep hearing from pet parents like yourself and my vet, cats are very good at hiding pain till it is out of hand. So, I got him to the vet who gave me Adequan (glucosamine/chondroiton) and Onsior. But not in that order. We first tried Adequan for a month but no improvement so I brought him back in for x-rays as I could tell he was having trouble still. I guess he got sore after the x-ray and started crouching while he was eating and drinking (his bottom wouldn’t touch the floor) so I got freaked out that something happened during the x-ray (but know it didn’t he just really got sore) so that is when they gave me Onsior. Now, my vet said that although he can take the 6mg table for 3 days in a row that a lot of vets give it for 6 days in a row. BUT, this morning he puked a little (maybe hairball trying to come up but now I am not sure) and I am thinking I should just stop for now (he had the 3 day dosage). Like you all have noticed, the change is REMARKABLE! He is doing SO much better now and of course, I am elated. I have researched like you all have and so far have to agree with the group consensus, it seems that the positives are outweighing the negatives. I will call my vet tomorrow (Monday) and see what she says but I think I feel most comfortable with 3 day dose for now, especially since his belly got upset today.

        What I am most interested in seeing at this point is if his pain will come right back to where it was in a week :/ I guess I’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Lastly, I have been sprinkling turmeric, ginger, omega 3 oil, and some msm-glucosamine-chondroiton (all in 1) capsule on his food for the last week. I just do a little because he was on to me and wouldn’t touch it, of course, but I have dome a lot of research before doing this and asked a couple of vets and it is VERY safe for those things to be administered to him. Maybe some of you might want to try it?

        Thanks for letting me share and I appreciate any feedback and also hope this may have helped others!

        • Hello Elizabeth. Thank you very much for your extensive comment which is very useful and which I enjoyed reading. It’ll certainly help other people who are researching this matter. It is much appreciated and I’m very impressed with what you are doing for your beloved cat. I don’t think anyone could do more or do better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks.