Cat Diarrhea Treatment with Centrine

Cat diarrhea that is linked to gastrointestinal disorders involving spasms of the GI tract may be treated by a powerful drug called Centrine®. Centrine is the brand name of aminopentamide hydrogen sulfen and is an FDA-approved drug for treating spasms in the gastrointestinal tract of cats and dogs. It reduces the strength and length of contractions along the GI tract, while also relaxing the surrounding smooth muscle. It also reduces the gastric secretions, acidity, and motility that contribute to and accompany GI contractions.

Conditions Treated

Centrine is prescribed for gastrointestinal ailments such as gastritis or malabsorption disorders and related symptoms of diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. It is useful for cat diarrhea that occurs due to contractions of the GI tract and abdominal muscles.

Recommended Dosage

Though the owner should always follow the vet's instructions, there are usual dosages.

Centrine is available by prescription only in tablet or injectable form. Tablets are 0.2 mg (100 tabs per bottle) while the injectable dose is 0.5 mL (10 mL vials). The dosage is adjusted by weight as follows: Under 10 pounds, 0.1 mg; 11 to 20 pounds, 0.2 mg; and 21 to 50 pounds, 0.3 mg. This minimum dosage is to be given every 8 to 12 hours and may be increased as needed, according to the veterinarian's instructions. The injection may be given either intramuscularly or under the skin. The veterinarian will prescribe the length of treatment based on the status of the cat's diarrhea in light of any side effects.

A toxic overdose, which may result in death, can produce a range of symptoms, from dry eyes and mouth (common side effects) to digestive problems such as trouble swallowing, vomiting, constipation, or difficulty urinating. Neurologic symptoms of an overdose include being underaroused or overaroused, enlarged pupils, changes in breathing, and changes in heart rate or rhythm.

Contraindications and Side Effects

The possible side effects of Centrine are reportedly less frequent and severe than in its predecessor atropine, with dry mouth the most common. Other side effects are dry eyes, blurred vision and difficulty urinating. The risk of side effects is increased if the cat is also taking steroids, nitrates or drugs to treat seizures or heart arrhythmias.

Centrine should not be used in cats with hypersensitivity to anticholinergics such as atropine, which reduce muscle spasms.

Centrine is also contraindicated for use in many situations. Specifically, it should not be used in cats with the following conditions: glaucoma, stomach or intestinal obstructions, infectious intestinal diseases, urinary obstructions, liver disease, prostate disease, esophageal reflux, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, or myasthenia gravis. It is important then to determine the cause of cat diarrhea before treating with Centrine.

Centrine should also be used with caution in very young or older cats and in pregnant or lactating cats.

Certain drugs, including benzodiazepines, antihistamines and anti-arrhythmia agents, may heighten the effects of Centrine. Meanwhile, Centrine may enhance the effects of other drugs, including diuretics and adrenalin-boosting agents. Its use may render metoclopramide, a drug to treat vomiting, ineffective.

In sum, while Centrine can be extremely beneficial for cat diarrhea and other conditions, because of its potency it also requires much caution and should be used only under the strict guidance of a veterinarian.