Pfizer Animal Health announced that SLENTROL™ (dirlotapide), the first and only FDA-approved veterinary medication for the management of canine obesity, is now available by prescription in the United States.
Slentrol was developed in response to the unmet need for a medication to help veterinarians and pet owners better manage canine obesity, an important medical condition that can lead to serious health consequences.1 An estimated 25 to 40 percent of dogs in the U.S. (about 17 million) are overweight or obese.2
Studies have shown that canine obesity is associated with serious medical conditions, including: osteoarthritis; cardiac disease; respiratory conditions; heat or exercise intolerance; dermatological problems affecting skin, hair and coat; compromised immune function; and increased surgical and anesthetic risks. In addition, weight loss is typically first line therapy for osteoarthritis, and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.3
Pfizer also announced recently the launch of BARC, or the Body Assessment Rating for Canines, a new online assessment tool designed to help dog owners determine if their dogs are overweight or obese, or are engaging in behaviors that contribute toward canine obesity. BARC is available at www.StopCanineObesity.com,
"Our goal is to encourage dog owners to begin a dialogue with their veterinarians," said George Fennell, Vice President, U.S. Companion Animal Division, Pfizer Animal Health. "By helping dog owners think about their dog's lifestyle, we are hoping to lessen the prevalence of this serious medical condition so dogs can live healthier, more active lives."
Reliable Weight-Loss, Unique Mode of Action
Developed specifically for dogs, Slentrol is the first U.S.-licensed Microsomal Triglyceride Transfer Protein (MTP) inhibitor – a medicine with a unique mode of action that works differently from human weight-loss drugs. Slentrol works by decreasing appetite and food intake.
Like humans, it is crucial for canines to lose weight at an appropriate rate. A Slentrol Treatment Plan has been designed to achieve weight loss of approximately 3 percent per month, a safe and responsible rate. The Treatment Plan takes into account that a dog's weight can be influenced by factors such as breed, age, genetics and diet, and uses monthly dosing adjustments individualized to each dog. This means that owners can develop new and fundamentally better feeding behaviors and exercise regimens that will help maintain the dog's weight loss. Slentrol can be used with any nutritionally balanced diet.
"The availability of Slentrol marks a significant milestone in the treatment of canine obesity, giving veterinarians an additional tool when diet modification and increased exercise are difficult for owners to implement successfully," said Georgette Wilson, DVM, Manager, Veterinary Operations, Pfizer Animal Health. "For long-term success, Slentrol should be used as part of an overall weight management program that includes diet and exercise."
In a four-month Slentrol weight-loss study with client-owned obese dogs, 97.8 percent of dogs that completed the study lost weight. The mean weight loss was 11.8 percent, and half of the dogs lost at least 11 percent of their body weight, a level associated with established health benefits.
Slentrol must not be used in cats. Do not give Slentrol to dogs with liver disease or dogs that have been taking steroid treatments for a long time. The most common side effect from Slentrol is vomiting. A few dogs may develop diarrhea, seem unusually tired or completely stop eating. If any of these side effects last longer than two days a veterinarian should be consulted. Slentrol should never be taken by people under any circumstances.
BARC – Body Assessment Rating for Canines
In addition to launching the first medication to manage obesity in dogs, Pfizer Animal Health has also developed the BARC tool as a way to help dog owners identify overweight or obesity in their pets. The short quiz was designed to prompt owners to think about the behavioral and physical conditions that might indicate that their dogs are overweight or obese. Additionally, owners are encouraged to visit their veterinarians for a complete physical exam of their dogs, including an obesity assessment and discussion on establishing new, healthy habits to help manage weight.
The development of the tool was spurred by two national surveys recently commissioned by Pfizer Animal Health that polled dog owners and veterinarians, respectively, on their awareness of and opinions about canine obesity. The studies found that only 17 percent of dog owners believe their dogs are overweight or obese.
Veterinarians, however, indicate that on average nearly half (47 percent) of their canine patients would be classified as overweight or obese, a number that is consistent with national statistics.
For a copy of Slentrol prescribing information, please go to http://www.pfizerah.com/slentrol.
For more information go to: Dirlotapide (Slentrol™)
1 Lund EM, Armstrong PJ, Kirk CA, Klausner JS. Prevalence and risk factors for obesity in adult dogs from private US veterinary practices. Intern J Appl Res Vet Med. 2006;2:177-186.
2 Ham SA, Epping J. Dog walking and physical activity in the United States. Prev Chron Dis [serial online]. April 2006 [cited 10/19/06]. Available from: www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2006/apr/05_0106.htm.
3 Muir 2000, Martin 1997, Kronfeld 1985, Ralston 1998
About Pfizer Animal Health
With sales of $2.3 billion in 2006, Pfizer Animal Health is a global leader in discovering, developing and marketing medicines and vaccines for companion animals and livestock, including beef and dairy cattle and swine.