Budesonide for Cats

Budesonide is a corticosteroid initially designed for the treatment of Crohn’s disease in humans. It it also recommended for treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in cats. IBD is a medical disorder which consists of the cat’s intestine being invaded with lymphocytes, plasmacytes, neutrophils and eosinophils, which are cells produced by the immune system.

Corticosteroids are part of the treatment plan for IBD in cats and budesonide is much safer than other similar drugs.

Budesonide for Cats

Budesonide is a corticosteroid with local action which was conceived for treating Crohn’s disease, allergies and asthma in humans. Clinical trials showed that budesonide is well tolerated by cats and that it does not have the side effects associated with other corticosteroids.

Budesonide does not interfere with the natural production of steroids. This way, there is little or no risk of cats developing Cushing’s disease because of the treatment.

IBD in Cats

Budesonide is prescribed as part of the treatment plan for inflammatory bowel disease.

IBD occurs when the cat’s intestine is invaded by inflammatory cells produced by the immune system. This disease prevents food from being metabolized and absorbed properly. Budesonide acts as an immunosuppressor and helps fighting the disease by relieving the inflamed intestinal tissue. It has a localized action because it comes in capsules which resist the digestive enzymes and juices and pass through the digestive tract until they reach the intestines.

Dosage of Budesonide

Budesonide is a very strong corticosteroid, much stronger that similar products and it has to be administered carefully. If administered in higher doses than required, the liver might not be able to filter it and budesonide may interfere with the endocrine system of the cat.

Cats that have a more severe condition will absorb more of the substance than cats with lighter conditions.

Some veterinarians suggest the administration of 1 mg of budesonide per day, but others are of the opinion that the dosage should be prepared according to the individual needs of each cat.

You should not administer budesonide to your cat without a medical prescription and without clear dosage recommendations.

Side Effects of Budesonide

All corticosteroids have potential side effects. Even if the risk of side effects is reduced in the case of budesonide, cats can still manifest the following:

  • Increased appetite
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Changes in the aspect of the coat

If budesonide gets absorbed into the body, it interferes with the endocrine balance and can result in Cushing’s disease.

Contraindications of Budesonide

In order for the treatment with budesonide to be efficient, it has to be completely filtered by the liver to prevent absorption in the body.

If the cat has liver problems or is undergoing some treatment that might interfere with the liver’s ability to filter it, budesonide should not be administered. Therefore, let your veterinarian know if your cat is under another treatment involving antibiotics, antifungal medication or heart medication.

Budesonide is not recommended in pregnant cats.