U.S. Approves First Drug for Obese Dogs

Not a remedy for overweight people, FDA warns

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THURSDAY, Jan. 11, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- Recognizing that overeating isn't limited to beings with two legs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first prescription drug to manage obesity in dogs.

Pfizer's Stentrol (dirlotapide) reduces appetite and a dog's ability to absorb fat, the agency said. The FDA cited surveys showing that up to 30 percent of U.S. dogs are overweight and about 5 percent are obese (more than 20 percent above ideal weight).

Overweight pets, like people, are at higher risk of health problems ranging from cardiovascular conditions and joint problems to diabetes, the FDA said.

To discourage use of the medication by people, Stentrol's label will warn that the drug is not intended for human use, should be kept away from children, and may cause adverse reactions in people, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, nausea and vomiting.

More information

To learn more about pet nutrition, visit the ASPCA.


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