Cats with kidney disease and decreased appetite

 Click here to download the study flyer

Purpose and Brief Explanation of Study:

Mirtazapine is a medication that has been shown to be effective in increasing weight and appetite and decreasing vomiting in cats with chronic kidney disease. However, many owners have difficulty administering pills to their cat. Mirtazapine is effective when formulated as a transdermal gel that can be applied to the inner skin of the ear.

Objective of the trial:

The purpose of this study is to perform a study to document the appetite stimulation properties of the transdermal form of the drug in cats with kidney disease.

What qualifies my cat for enrollment in this in this trial?

Cats with stable chronic kidney disease (creatinine 2-5 mg/dL) are potentially eligible for entry into the study.  Diagnostic tests required before enrollment include a serum biochemistry profile, complete blood count, urinalysis, urine culture, blood pressure, and thyroid level. Exclusion criteria include other systemic illnesses, complications of CKD such as kidney infection or ureteral obstruction, or decompensation of CKD requiring hospitalization and intravenous fluid therapy. Other concurrent therapies such as dietary management, famotidine, potassium supplementation, anti-hypertensive medications and subcutaneous fluids are acceptable if they are given consistently throughout the study period.

What does enrolling my cat in this clinical trial involve?

The study involves bringing your cat into the hospital for three visits and administering a gel to the ear for a total of 6 weeks. There are two treatment periods (mirtazapine transdermal gel and placebo gel) and your cat will receive both in a randomly determined order. During each three week transdermal treatment period (placebo or mirtazapine) you will administer the gel every other day, fill out a log sheet every day, and then bring your cat in for the hospital visit on the last day of gel administration (day 21). During this visit, your cat will get a physical exam and weight, and have a blood sample drawn to check kidney values and to measure how much mirtazapine is in your cat’s body.

Client Compensation

If your cat is eligible, you will receive a complementary CBC, chemistry, urinalysis, urine culture and thyroid level to confirm your cat’s health prior to participation. All costs of the visits and the gel medication are covered by the study. 

Client Contact

If you believe your pet may be eligible to enter this study, please click here to fill out a questionnaire. 

Jessica Quimby, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Quimby.19@osu.edu