Pimobendan

General Description: Pimobendan is a cardiac drug used to treat dogs with congestive heart failure. Pimobendan helps strengthen the heart’s muscular contractions and dilates the blood vessels. Pimobendan is offered as oblong, half-scored chewable tablets in two sizes (1.25 mg and 5 mg).

What is this drug?

A cardiac drug (inodilator) given by mouth
Pimobendan opens the blood vessels that take blood away from the heart, thereby reducing the work the heart does to pump blood. Pimobendan also opens the blood vessels which return blood to the heart, reducing pressure on the heart
Often used in conjunction with other drugs
Reasons for prescribing:

Used to manage the signs of mild, moderate or severe congestive heart failure in dogs 6 months of age or older due to atrioventricular valvular insufficiency (AVVI) or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
Increases the ability of the heart to pump blood more efficiently
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?

Pets with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, aortic stenosis, or any other condition where an increase in cardiac output is not recommended
Safety has not been evaluated in dogs less than 6 months of age, those with congenital heart defects, dogs with diabetes or other serious metabolic diseases, dogs used for breeding or pregnant or nursing dogs
If your pet has had an allergic reaction to pimobendan or like products
Directions:

Read and follow the label carefully.

Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. The dose should be divided into two portions and given 12 hours apart.

Ideally, give the medication at the same time(s) daily.

May be used in an acute situation or used long-term.

Give this medication for as long as veterinarian directs. Do not skip doses or stop giving the medication without consulting your veterinarian.

Baseline blood work to assess your pet’s health before starting this drug is recommended. Periodic blood work to monitor its effect is also advised if long-term therapy is necessary. Dose adjustments will be made based upon the results and an assessment of how your dog is responding clinically.
Call ahead for refills.

What if a dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.

What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?

Talk to your veterinarian about:

When will your pet need to be rechecked
What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
What are the risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:

If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
If your pet has any congenital heart defects
If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medicines can be given together.
If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:

Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.

Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Pimobendan is not for use in humans. Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.

Potential side effects:

Continue giving the medication but contact your veterinarian if your pet develops: decreased appetite, drowsiness, diarrhea, labored breathing, weakness, incoordination, behavior changes (anxiety, convulsions), excessive thirst and urination, and/or rapid heartbeat fainting, accumulation of fluid in the lungs or abdomen, and/or a cough
May increase the development of arrhythmias
Stop giving the medication and contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet has an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, swollen lips/tongue/face), experiences scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums and/or coma
Synthetic beef flavor is actually derived from pork. Use with caution in pets allergic to pork
Can this drug be given with other drugs?

Treatment of congestive heart failure usually requires concurrent use of multiple medications. Pimobendan has been found to be safe for use with many cardiac drugs, including angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, diuretics and digoxin.
Possible interactions may occur with other positive inotropes, theophylline, pentoxyphylline, and drugs that are highly protein bound
Using beta-blockers (ex. propranolol) or calcium channel blockers (ex. verapamil) may decrease the effects of pimobendan
If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian.
Overdosing?

Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet eats more than the prescribed amount.

What else should I know?

Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.

As with all prescribed medicines, pimobendan should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.

This is just a summary of information about pimobendan. If you have any questions or concerns about pimobendan or the condition it was prescribed for, contact your veterinarian.

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