Trimeprazine Tartrate with Prednisolone

By Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

What is trimeprazine tartrate with prednisolone?

Trimeprazine tartrate with prednisolone (brand names: Temaril-P®, Vanectyl-P®) is a combination of an antihistamine and a corticosteroid used to treat itchiness (due to mostly allergies) or suppress cough. The combination is designed to decrease the amount of prednisone used.

While it is FDA-approved for use in dogs, its use in cats to treat itchiness and coughing is ‘off label’ or ‘extra label’. 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 this medication given?

Trimeprazine tartrate with prednisolone combination is given by mouth in the form of a tablet. It may be given with or without food; however, if vomiting occurs when dosed on an empty stomach, give future doses with food. Do not stop this medication suddenly unless instructed by your veterinarian. Do not use in pets that are undergoing allergy testing within the next month, unless otherwise advised by your veterinarian. Always give access to water while giving your pet this medication.

This medication will take effect quickly, in about 1 to 2 hours, and improvement in clinical signs should follow.

What if I miss giving my pet the medication?

If prescribed for twice daily dosing and you miss a dose, give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule. If prescribed for once daily dosing and you miss a dose, give it when you remember, and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Are there any potential side effects?

The most common side effects include sleepiness, increased drinking, urination, and/or appetite, muscle tremors or stiffness, restlessness, and panting. Serious side effects include infection, lack of appetite, lack of energy, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, potbelly appearance, weight gain, or aggression.

This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

This medication should not be used in pets that are allergic to it. Do not use in pets that are undergoing allergy testing within the next month, unless otherwise advised by your veterinarian. Do not use in pets with untreated Cushing’s disease or gastrointestinal ulcers. Trimeprazine with prednisolone combination should be used cautiously in pets with seizures, diabetes, heart, liver, or kidney disease, or active infections. Use cautiously in pets that are young and growing as this medication can stunt growth. Use cautiously in pets that are pregnant or in lactating pets; consider using a milk replacer in these cases.

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

The following medications should be used with caution when given with trimeprazine/prednisolone combination: Angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, amphotericin B, antacids, antidiarrheals, anticholinesterases, aspirin, cisapride, central nervous system depressant agents, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine, digoxin, potassium-depleting diuretics, ephedrine, estrogens, insulin, ketoconazole, mitotane, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), paroxetine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin, or vaccines.

Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

This product may also interact with laboratory tests, such as allergy tests, as well as cholesterol, urine glucose, potassium, and thyroid levels.

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

There is no specific monitoring that needs to be done while your pet is taking this medication. Your veterinarian may monitor your pet to be sure that the medication is working. Monitor your pet at home for serious side effects and level of sedation.

If your pet is on this medication long-term, your veterinarian will perform regular bloodwork and urinalysis to monitor for adverse effects.

How do I store this medication?

Store this medication at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C) and protect from light and moisture.

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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