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Triamcinolone Acetonide (Vetalog®, Panalog®)

By: Dr. Karin Szust

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Overview

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs are often used to control excessive tissue responses to injury. While inflammation serves a useful purpose, chronic or severe inflammation can injure tissues. There are a variety of treatments available to suppress inflammation. These are divided into two main categories – steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Triamcinolone is a steroid classified as a synthetic glucocorticoid. This drug has an intermediate duration of effect lasting for days to weeks.
  • Triamcinolone is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans and animals.
  • Human formulations: Aristocort® (Fujisawa), Kenacort® (Apothecon) and various generic preparations
  • Veterinary formulations: Vetalog® (Fort Dodge), Panalog® (Fort Dodge) and various generic preparations

    Uses of Triamcinolone Acetonide

  • The drug is an anti-inflammatory, used in the treatment of acute arthritis in a number of species.
  • It reduces inflammation in allergic reactions. Accordingly, it is used in a number of skin conditions, such as contact allergic dermatitis and atopy.
  • In cats, uses include feline plasma-cell gingivitis-pharyngitis and feline polymyopathy (muscle inflammation).
  • It can be injected within the lesion in cases of lick granuloma in dogs.
  • Triamcinolone can be used in the eye as either a topical (drops or ointment) or as an injection under the red of the eye (subconjunctivally) to treat inflammatory eye diseases.
  • It has also been used in the ears.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, triamcinolone can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Triamcinolone should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • The greatest concern with triamcinolone is the fact that the steroid effects persist for days. Thus, it cannot easily be "recalled," as a short-acting corticosteroid. There are numerous side effects of steroid drugs; preparations that maintain continual levels of the drug – while potentially effective – also hold risk with chronic use.
  • Triamcinolone should be avoided in cases of viral and fungal infections and it should not be used before surgical procedures as it can delay wound healing.
  • Triamcinolone should also be avoided in nursing mothers. It can be eliminated in the milk and may delay the growth of nursing litters.
  • Triamcinolone may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with triamcinolone. Such drugs include non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and other steroids.
  • Common side effects of triamcinolone include vomiting, behavior modification such as depression and lethargy, increased thirst, urination and appetite, and panting.
  • Common side effects of long-term treatment with triamcinolone include hair loss (alopecia), skin thinning, muscle weakness, diarrhea, suppression of the adrenal glands or development of diabetes mellitus.
  • Triamcinolone should be avoided in animals with glaucoma, diabetes mellitus, Cushing's syndrome, pregnancy, heart failure, corneal ulcers and high blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Glucocorticoids may worsen stomach ulcers.
  • It is not recommended to vaccinate animals undergoing treatment with triamcinolone, as this can reduce the response to the vaccination.

    How Triamcinolone Is Supplied

  • Triamcinolone is available in 2 mg/ml and 6 mg/ml injectable suspension.
  • It is also available in Panalog® ointment for topical use (combined with the drugs nystatin, neomycin and thiostrepton).
  • Triamcinolone is available in 1 mg, 2 mg, 4 mg and 8 mg tablets. It is also available as a 4 mg/5 mg oral syrup.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The doses of triamcinolone used vary widely, depending on the problem, the species, and the method of administration. There are numerous doses and no single recommendation can be made. Dosing should only occur under strict supervision of a veterinarian. Typical doses range from 0.05 to 1 mg per pound (0.11 to 2 mg/kg) once a day to once a week.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or prevent the development of resistance.




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