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Metronidazole Benzoate: Enhancing Pet Medication Palatability

Metronidazole is a commonly used bactericidal antimicrobial agent for the treatment of Trichomonas, Giardia, and other anaerobic infections. Oral metronidazole is well absorbed and widely distributed. However, the metronidazole base is universally unpleasant, making this a barrier regardless of strength/flavoring. There have not been any veterinary approved metronidazole products made available and the commercial tablets require splitting achieve appropriate weight-based doses, further exposing the bitter/metallic taste.

The solution to improve palatability is using the benzoic ester form of metronidazole called metronidazole benzoate. This has been shown to be better tolerated in animals even with the 60% additional powder required to equal base weight. Compounding pharmacies will commonly use the metronidazole benzoate form and multiply the desired powder amount by a factor of 1.6 to reach desired powder weight within base form. 

Adverse effects reported include hepatotoxicity, neurologic disorders, weakness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Very high doses have reported neurotoxicity in cats (>200mg/kg/day) due to benzoic acid toxicity. However, with appropriate clinical dosing this toxicity is unlikely. Speak with your compounding specialist at Pharmacy Solutions to avoid any additional frustrations associated with you animal’s illness.

Dosing in cats: 15-25mg/kg by mouth every 12-24 hours.

Little, S. (2011). The Cat: Clinical Medicine and Management. Saunders.
Plumb, D. (2008) Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

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