Slentrol (dirlotapide)… the First Drug for Obese Dogs


FDA Approves the First Drug for Obese Dogs

The FDA announced the approval of Slentrol (dirlotapide), a prescription drug for the management of obesity in dogs. Slentrol is manufactured by Pfizer Inc., New York, NY. Below is the FDA New Release and web sites for additional information. // FDA News

P07-01 // January 5, 2007

Media Inquiries:
Michael Herndon, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today is announcing the approval of Slentrol (dirlotapide), a prescription drug for the management of obesity in dogs. Slentrol reduces appetite and fat absorption to produce weight loss. A veterinarian will determine whether the dog should be treated, based on the dog’s weight and general health.
“This is a welcome addition to animal therapies, because dog obesity appears to be increasing,” said Stephen Sundlof, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “Veterinarians are well aware that overweight pets are at a higher risk of developing various health problems, from cardiovascular conditions to diabetes to joint problems.”

Veterinarians generally define a dog that weighs 20 percent more than its ideal weight as obese. Surveys have found that approximately 5 percent of dogs in the United States are obese, and another 20-30 percent are overweight.

Slentrol is a new chemical entity, called a selective microsomal triglyceride transfer protein inhibitor, which blocks the assembly and release of lipoproteins into the bloodstream. The mechanism for producing weight loss is not completely understood, but seems to result from reduced fat absorption and a satiety signal from lipid-filled cells lining the intestine.

The drug is given to the dog in varying amounts over the course of the treatment. The dog is given an initial dose for the first 14 days. After that, the veterinarian will assess the dog’s progress at monthly intervals, adjusting the dose depending on the dog’s weight loss. After the dog has achieved the goal weight, the drug’s manufacturer recommends continued use of the drug during a three-month period, while the veterinarian and dog owner establish the optimal level of food intake and physical activity needed to maintain the dog’s weight.

Adverse reactions associated with treatment with Slentrol include vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea, lethargy and loss of appetite.

To discourage human use, the label of Slentrol includes the standard warning, “Not for use in humans. Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children,” and cites adverse reactions associated with human use, including abdominal distention, abdominal pain, diarrhea, flatulence, headache, nausea and vomiting.
Slentrol is manufactured by Pfizer Inc., New York, N.Y.

Ask your veterinarian about this new medication for dogs that may be an important part of a total life style that promotes proper body weight. Every dog or cat with a weight control problem needs veterinary attention so that individualized medical tests can be done to discover any medical problem that could contribute to the dog or cat’s body weight issues.

Healthy dogs and cats thrive on exercise, high quality pet foods based on meat protein (not corn), and individualized amounts fed per meal. Consider feeding less of a high quality diet (to reduce the total calories fed) rather than large amounts of “lite” or “low fat” or “reduced calorie” pet foods.

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11 Responses

  1. Lisa
    | Reply

    I have used Slentrol with my dog. The weight loss was successful as a combination of Slentrol, exercise and portion control. I would caution pet owners – In Feb., my dog had elevated numbers on her liver panel. By Mar. 10th, one month later, her numbers had doubled. She exhibits no signs of the usual diagnosis of Cushing’s disease. I’m not sure if the Slentrol is the culprit. I’m looking for any info or experiences of other pet owners.

  2. HART (1-800-HART)
    | Reply

    Thanks for that information Lisa .. Please come back and keep us updated! I hope you ‘lil gal’ is doing well and in good spirits.

  3. Jannette
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    I had started using Slentrol with my Rottweiler along with a vet recommended diet and hydrotherapy in September 2008. My dog does not take any other types of supplements or drugs. Two months into using the Slentrol, she started to excessively drink water and urinated uncontrollably. Normally her water intake was minimal, just a few licks after a meal and a few licks throughout the day. I took her to the vet and her urine was tested, as well as her blood. Her glucose level was 389! Thankfully, the rest of the blood results were at normal levels. The doctor was surprised because my dog is only 4 years old and this disease usually comes at a later age in dogs. Before I started my dog on Slentrol, my dog had a urinalysis done. Those results showed a normal glucose level. So, somehow in the two months that she was on Slentrol she developed diabetes. I don’t know if this drug caused her to get this disease or not, but since no one can tell me for sure and the drug was only tested for 1 year before being put out on the market… I opted to discontinue the Slentrol immediately and treat my dog’s new problem now. I hope Lisa’s dog is doing better too.

  4. Lisa
    | Reply

    Thanks Jannette for the info. My dog drinks water excessively too – more than she used to. I’ll ask our vet about the glucose levels. Dolly isn’t as slim as she used to be, but I feel better knowing that she isn’t taking something that may not be good for her. The liver panel remains the same but isn’t elevating anymore. I’m not sure that will get better. I’m sure we’re not the only ones experiencing symptoms with our dogs. I would hope that your dog can overcome the diabetes. That’s worrisome when your pet is so young. Good luck.

  5. Jannette
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    Thanks, Lisa. Hope Dolly is doing better. Were you able to find out more about the increased water intake? I was just curious to know what you were feeding your dog right now. Also, what type of dog is she?

  6. Lisa
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    Hi Jannette, As a matter of fact I’m taking her to our vet this week. Dolly is a 12 yr. old basset hound. She has been in relatively good shape except for the Slentrol and a tendency to develop cysts. That’s why I’m takin her in- she has a couple more cysts that need to be emptied. I’m not sure why she develops these. I know they are not breed specific. I’ve been feeding her Science Diet – she hates it; and Beneful, Healthy Weight. I’ve been researching dog foods and found a site that does not list Science Diet as one of the top 10 for dogs. I’m going to try one call Innova or Healthwise. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find them in the Midwest or will have to order it through the mail. Hope one of these helps keep her weight down. I’ll ask about the water this week and I think I’ll have the glucose checked too.

  7. Jannette
    | Reply

    Hello, Lisa.God bless your girl Dolly. I was feeding Isis Science Diet K9 R/D for a whole year and I didn’t see any weight reduction. My dog was just hungry all the time and didn’t have much energy. When I got her diagnosis of diabetes, I decided that her body/system needed all the help it could to get her regulated and as normal as possible. I’ve checked out many websites for info. on canine diabetes and the recommended diets. I found out that a grain-free natural diet and raw diet are the best. These diets are easily digested and help with many conditions that affect dogs and cats these days. I use Nature’s Variety with Isis and she looooves her food! I feed her a grain-free kibble twice a day (at insulin times) and a raw chicken(or beef)patty in the middle of the day for lunch. Believe it or not, my dog has actually lost weight eating this much and enjoying it. Even if you can’t get Nature’s Variety, alot of holistic foods also have their own grain-free lines of food. What I like about N.V. is that they also carry grain-free canned food for those who prefer to feed wet food. Check them out online. Good luck, and please let me know how it goes with Dolly’s visit to her vet!

  8. Lisa
    | Reply

    Happy New Year to you and Isis. Dolly’s glucose level was good – the liver panel remains the same. At least that hadn’t gone up. I feel so guilty about this. I wonder if I hadn’t put her on Slentrol would we be going through this? She also had 5 cysts emptied that day. I think the cyst issue has to do with the dog food. I have ordered some EVO food. In researching foods, so many had recalls on them! These are “good” brand names! Unfortunately the food is unavailable “on the prairie” at any of the well known pet stores. We’ll see what happens. I know my parents have there dog on an all meat diet. Keep me posted on Isis. I’m sick that her health has been compromised. We seem to be the only two that feel our dogs health has changed since the Slentrol, or maybe people aren’t realizing this. I’ve talked to my vet. He says there is no real way of knowing and that other pets haven’t had problems. I’m going to continue to research this. If I find anything, I’ll let you know. Blessings to you in the New Year, and Isis too!


  9. Jannette
    | Reply

    Happy new year Lisa!
    Hope all your loved ones are doing well. How is Dolly doing? Have you changed her diet yet? If so, how’s she doing with it? Isis seems to be regulating to her insulin just fine. I just have to curfew myself to being home by a certain time to administer her insulin shot. It’s not easy… but I love her so much that I am willing to sacrifice my social life to make sure that she is taken care of and has no set backs. Let me know how you two are doing. Take care, and hope to hear from you soon!

  10. Kim
    | Reply

    Dear Jannette and Lisa,

    Thank you so much for your dialog. I’m in Texas and am anxiously awaiting the glucose level on my dog. We started Slentrol in May with very slow weight reduction and absolutely no change in appetite. I think we had lost a total of 5 lbs in 6 months up until Nov. I took my dog in yesterday because of significantly increased thirst and food aggression despite having gone up on his dose in Nov. He had gone down 10 lbs in 2 months ( I missed his weight check in Dec) and he’s currently being tested for diabetes and glucose. My dog was an adopted, we believe, collie mix. I’ve very curious to see if there is an association between Slentrol and diabetes or cushings.

  11. Lisa
    | Reply

    Hi Kim and Jannette: Jannette – How’s Isis? Have you seen a change? Dolly is now older but thankfully still with us. After 6-8 months without Slentrol, her liver and kidney tests were markedly improved. Kim, I really feel that Slentrol is the culprit of a lot of these doggie issues. You would never get the drug company to admit that. I wish you the best of luck with your dog. It’s devestating to think that we administer these drugs to our dogs, in good faith, only to have their health compromised. Jannette – let me know how you and Isis are doing.

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