Dolasetron Fails for Vomiting in Felines

Used to treat chemo-induced nausea in people, dolasetron was hoped to prevent feline vomiting | Deposit Photos

Dolasetron (brand name Anzemet) has been used in people to help with chemotherapy-induced nausea. It inhibits vomiting and nausea via pathways in both the gastrointestnal tract and the central nervous system. This dual action made it sound helpful to cats, thought researchers in California. Their study was reported in the August 2018 Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

The researchers looked at how long the drug would maintain active levels in the blood after injection either intravenously or subcutaneously (pharmacokinetics) as well as how effective the drug might be (pharmacodynamics). Unfortunately, dolasetron failed on all counts.

The active metabolite of the medication disappeared within two hours for most of the cats. In addition, it was ineffective in stopping vomiting, lip licking (nausea sign), or even delaying vomiting induced by a dose of ketamine. More research will need to be done, because it is possible that too low a dose was given in this study to be effective.