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FDA approves first drug for canine obesity

Article

New York - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first drug for managing canine obesity, a common health-threatening condition in millions of dogs in the United States.

NEW YORK — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first drug for managing canine obesity, a common health-threatening condition in millions of dogs in the United States.

Slentrol (dirlotapide), manufactured by Pfizer Animal Health, works by decreasing a dog's appetite, thereby reducing food intake and making it easier for owners to instill healthier eating behaviors and attitudes.

About 40 percent of dogs in the United States are considered to be either overweight (5 percent to 20 percent over ideal weight) or obese (20 percent or more over ideal weight), according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Obesity increases a dog's risk for certain diseases — including arthritis, heart disease, respiratory conditions and cancer — and diminishes quality of life by making exercise and play more difficult.

While a healthy diet and exercise alone can bring about weight loss, many owners fail to stick to that regimen because of lack of time to exercise their dogs and difficulty restricting certain foods and treats.

Slentrol is given once daily as an oral solution, over a period determined by the amount of weight to be lost. It will be available only by prescription from veterinarians starting this spring.

The company warns that the drug should not be used in cats, in dogs with liver disease or on corticosteroid therapy, and never in humans.

For a copy of prescribing information, go to www.pfizerah.com/slentrol.

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