[Transdermal Carbimazole for the Treatment of Feline Hyperthyroidism]

Buijtels J.J., Kurvers I.A., Galac S., et al.

Tijdschr Diergeneeskd, 2006. 131(13): p.478-82.


Orally administered antithyroid drugs are frequently used to treat hyperthyroidism in cats; however, the non-cooperative behaviour of some cats may make it difficult to administer tablets. The aim of this study was to develop a carbimazole ointment for application to the inner pinna of the ear and to test its effectiveness in 13 cats with hyperthyroidism. Laboratory investigations were performed before, and 4, 8, and 12 weeks after start of the treatment. Laboratory data for 9 cats were available at the end of the observation period. The starting dose of carbimazole ointment was 5 mg once daily. If no complications occurred, the dose was increased to 5 mg twice daily from the 6th day onwards. Further dose adjustments were mainly based on the plasma thyroxine (T4) concentration. The median plasma T4 concentration at the end of the observation period (24 nmol/l) was significantly lower than that before treatment (152 nmol/l). The dosage of carbimazole needed to achieve euthyroidism ranged from 4 to 17 mg twice daily. Treatment with carbimazole ointment resulted in disappearance of signs of hyperthyroidism; plasma concentrations of urea and creatinine increased significantly. The results of this study indicate that twice daily administration of carbimazole ointment to the inner pinna of the ear is an effective treatment for hyperthyroidism in cats. This provides the veterinarian with a new and promising treatment option. Because carbimazole ointment has not been registered, according to European law it can only be used for the treatment of hyperthyroidism in cats if other licensed medications have been tried and if there is a therapeutic need.