What is Panacur for Cats?

Cat medication

Panacur, also known as Fenbendazole, is a drug used to treat certain gastrointestinal parasites in cats. Panacur effectively treats tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and certain parasites called strongyles and Strongyloides. The drug can also be used to treat parasites found in the bronchial tree and lungs. It is available in a container that you should store in a cool and dry place. After you open the container, ensure that the container is always tightly closed to maintain freshness and avoid exposure to microorganisms.

Mechanism of action of Panacur

Fenbendazole is effective in paralyzing the metabolism and cellular transport of parasites. The drug annihilates the parasites’ energy by eliminating the parasites’ ability to produce protective cells and excrete waste products. It works by internally damaging the parasite’s skin, causing it to disintegrate. If you take your cat to your veterinary, the vet will perform a fecal examination test to determine the kind of parasite involved. According to VCAHospital, the procedure involves taking a sample fecal from your cat using a lubricated fecal loop. The feces are put in a solution that allows the parasite’s eggs to float and the fecal matter to sink. The floating material is then placed on a slide and examined under a microscope. The microscope will give a clear view of the type of eggs, which will then determine the type of gastrointestinal parasite involved.

How is Panacur given?

Panacur is available as a tablet or in powdered form. The drug is supposed to be administered orally. It might be challenging to pursue your cat to take the medication directly from your hand. If this proves difficult, crush the tablet with a pestle and mortar and mix the powder with canned food. You can refeed the feline after 2 hrs in the event of any leftovers. If your cat vomits, stop the medication and immediately consult your vet. The medication should not be given on an empty stomach. Ensure that your cat has had something to eat at least an hour before taking the Panacur.

Dosage

To completely eliminate gastrointestinal parasites and worms from your cat’s system, you must continually administer Panacur for at least three days. The dosage should be repeated three weeks and three months after the first dosage. However, some parasites will require continuous medication of up to seven days. According to Petsathome, the weight of your cat determines the dosage. It is administered as 50 milligrams for every 2.2 pounds. For kittens younger than six months, give 50 milligrams every 24 hours for three days. For pregnant cats and those above six months, give 50 milligrams every 24 hours for three to five days. Different parasites will require a different dosage depending on your vet’s prescription. Your vet may recommend additional medication if they still feel the treatment is insufficient. FDA does not approve Fenbendazole for cats in the United States of America which means that it is prescribed off-label to treat cats. If you are using the 10% paste or liquid, which is approximately 100 milligram/milliliter, you need to weigh your cat or kitten, multiply the weight by 23 mg per pound, and divide by 100 mg/ml.

What if I skip a dosage?

Consult your vet if you miss a dose. In normal circumstances, it is advisable that you give the missed dose as soon as you remember, and then you can proceed with the rest of the prescribed doses. If it is near the next dosage, skip it and administer it the next scheduled time. It is dangerous to give your cat an extra dose or two doses simultaneously.

Storage

Store in a tight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You should store the medication at room temperature. If your vet makes a special formulation for your cat, be sure to follow the recommended storage instructions and note the product’s expiry date.

Signs that your cat needs Panacur

Panacur is effective in treating tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and certain parasites called strongyles and Strongyloides. Understanding the symptoms of gastrointestinal parasites can help you take preventative measures and treatment options to help maintain your cat healthy and active. According to Petplace, the symptoms may differ depending on the parasitic infection affecting your cat. Some of the common signs include; irritability, shaggy coat, loss of appetite, seizures, loss of weight, swollen belly, abdominal pain, emaciation, mild diarrhea, intestinal blockage, and worm segments in feces. If you notice white grains that look like rice in your cat’s feces, that could be one of the signs it has worms. Cats that are prone to hunting are more exposed to worms. Worms are spread through rodents, mice, and birds that are potential carriers of intestinal parasites. Once a cat eats a carrier mouse or bird, it becomes infected. Kittens may also be infected through lactation, where they can contract tapeworms from the mother’s fleas.

Pet Monitoring and Medication

While your cat is taking the medication, there needs to be someone to do fecal examinations. If you can’t do it, your vet can help you. Some worms may not be digested and may be visible on the feces.

Drugs that you can use together with Panacur

There are no known drug interactions with Panacur. If you use any drugs, supplements, vitamins, or herbal medicines, be sure to consult with your doctor.

What to do in case of an emergency

In the case of an emergency like an adverse reaction or an overdose, do not hesitate to call your vet immediately. If your doctor is not available or is far away, read the instructions given in the emergency facility and follow the procedures outlined.

Pharmacist tips on using Panacur

You can give the medication directly to your cat to chew. If this proves difficult, you can crush the tablet and mix the powdered tablet with canned food. If your cat does not finish the food, keep the leftover food in the refrigerator and give it a second feeding after about two hours. Panacur has a thin line that makes it easy to break and give your cat according to the recommended dosage. Do not mix the medication with antibiotics like rifampin, which may have adverse reactions.

Pharmacodynamic Properties

Panacur or Fenbendazole is an anthelmintic belonging to the benzimidazole carbamates group. It acts by interfering with the energy metabolism of parasites. The anthelmintic efficacy is based on inhibition of the polymerization of tubulin to the microtubule. According to Parasitipedia, the anthelmintic affects both adult and immature stages of gastrointestinal and respiratory parasites.

Pharmacokinetics of Panacur

Panacur can be administered orally. After ingestion, the drug is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream of all species. Panacur is then metabolized in the liver to oxfendazole which is then reduced to Fenbendazole. The primary oxidative metabolite is Fenbendazole sulfoxide, further metabolized to Fenbendazole sulfone. Once it is absorbed, the body attains the maximum plasma levels with a half-life of about 15 hours after oral administration. The drug is quickly distributed to all body parts, with high concentrations in the kidneys and the liver. The medication is also partly distributed to the gut lumen, which destroys parasitic worms found in the intestinal wall. Panacur is then converted to ineffective metabolites through the process of metabolism. It lacks residual effect because of the brief anthelmintic effect. After two to three hours, the cat will feel like excreting. 40-70% of the worms will be excreted through urine in the form of metabolites. The rest will be excreted through feces and bile. Less than 1% of the worms will not be destroyed, and they will be excreted. A day after Panacur has been administered, 80% of the drug will have been excreted, and after two days, the whole excretion process will be complete.

Side Effects of the drug

According to Petmd, Panacur is safe for use in cats, although it has not been approved by FDA. Although it is safe for use, some cats tend to experience mild side effects when on medication. On a regular dose, Panacur does not have any side effects. If administered in higher doses than usual, the dying parasite may cause allergic reactions. If your cat experiences itchiness, facial swelling, seizures, and hives, stop the medication immediately and seek veterinary advice. Common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and salivation. These side effects will cease after a few days, although they might persist in cats with kidney and liver disease. It is advisable to consult with your veterinarian once you notice the above reactions. Before you change or give your cat any deworming drug or herbal supplement, consult first with your vet.

Product Facts

  • Drug name: Panacur
  • Other names: Fenbendazole
  • Manufacturer: MERCK Animal Health
  • Color: white or yellowish-white
  • Drug type: dewormer (anthelmintic)
  • Purpose: eradicate gastrointestinal parasites
  • Animals: cats and dogs
  • Administration: oral
  • Shelf-life: 36 months
  • Packaging: Pack sizes 1g, 8g, and 4.5g sachets
  • How it is dispensed: over the counter
  • Approved by FDA: Yes, only for dogs

Pros of using Panacur

  • The drug is effective against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and Giardia.
  • It is safe for use in pregnant cats and young kittens.
  • The tablets can be crushed and mixed with water or food for ease of swallowing or directly mixed with food.

Cons of using Panacur

  • It is relatively expensive compared to other dewormers.
  • It has not been approved by the FDA for cats in the United States of America which means that it is prescribed off-label to treat cats.

Risk Factors

Panacur should not be given to cats with allergic reactions. It should not also be given to sick cats. A lactating cat may be given the drug but with the help of a vet who will give the correct prescription. If a lactating cat is given the medication, it should stay for four days without nursing the kittens for safety purposes. Maintain a minimum direct contact with the skin.

Cautions and Concerns

Panacur is safe to use in cats. It should not be used in puppies under six weeks. Always ensure that your cat does not take the drug on an empty stomach, although the tablets can be administered with or without food. Remember to store in a tight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. According to Veterinarypartner, avoid inhalation of granule dust and wash your hands after use. Be sure to note the expiry date of the product. Once the product has expired, follow the recommended guidelines to ensure safe disposal.

What time of the day should I give my cat Panacur?

Panacur can be administered any time of the day. If you have any questions concerning your pet, please consult with your vet.

How long will my cat be on Panacur?

The drug is usually given for three days. The dosage should be re-administered three weeks and three months from the first dosage. Some stubborn parasites will require continuous medication of up to seven days. Any unused veterinary medicinal product or waste materials derived from veterinary medicinal products should be disposed of following local requirements. Please consult with your vet in case of any queries.

Can Panacur be given with other medications?

There are no known drug interactions with Panacur. If you use any drugs, supplements, vitamins, or herbal medicines, be sure to consult with your doctor.

Conclusion

Panacur is an effective drug in the treatment of gastrointestinal parasites. It acts by interfering with the energy metabolism of the parasite. The drug has not been approved by FDA, and so it is prescribed off-label to treat cats. The medication can be purchased from any pet store, or you can consult your veterinarian if you need one. The duration of administration depends on the parasitic infection that is being treated. Remember to exercise care and caution while your cat is on medication due to the side effects of the drug.

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