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Imidocarb dipropionate

By Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH


What is imidocarb dipropionate?deer_tick

Imidocarb dipropionate (brand name Imizol®) is a drug used to treat infections caused by protozoa (single-celled organisms that sometimes cause disease). For example, it is used to treat the infection babesiosis in dogs. This infection is caused by the protozoa Babesia which is transferred to pets from tick bites.

Sometimes imidocarb dipropionate is used for the treatment of ehrlichiosis in dogs, hepatozoonosis in dogs, cytaxzoonosis in cats, and babesiosis in cats. When imidocarb dipropionate is prescribed for the treatment of these diseases, it is referred to as ‘extra-label’ or ‘off label’ use. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully, as their directions may be significantly different from those on the label.

How is imidocarb dipropionate given?

Your veterinarian will give this drug by injection.

Are there any potential side effects?

Dogs: The most common side effects in dogs include pain during the injection, salivation or drooling, nasal drip, and brief episodes of vomiting. Less commonly reported side effects include panting, diarrhea, swelling at the injection site, and restlessness. Rarely a wound can form at the injection site.

Cats: The most commonly seen side effects in cats include salivation/drooling, tearing, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, restlessness, fast heart rate, and difficulty breathing.

If the side effects of drooling or nasal drip are severe, contact your veterinarian. Treatments to reverse this may be given.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

This drug should be used with caution in dogs and cats with impaired lung, liver, or kidney function. Imidocarb can cross the placenta and its safety has not been established in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs. Its safety has also not been established in puppies.

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

This drug should not be used in pets that have been exposed to cholinesterase-inhibiting drugs, pesticides, or chemicals. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

Testing by blood smear or other tests to see if the parasite has been eliminated may be recommended. Liver and kidney function tests before and after treatment are recommended.

What should I do in case of emergency?

If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

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