FDA approves weight loss management drug for cats with CKD

November 20, 2020
dvm360 Staff

Elura increases appetite and weight gain in cats suffering from chronic kidney disease.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last month the approval of Elura, the first drug approved specifically for weight loss management in cats with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Cats with CKD may begin to lose weight prior to diagnosis and typically continue to lose weight as the disease progresses, thus worsening their prognosis and shortening their lifespan.

“Capromorelin is a ghrelin receptor agonist known to increase appetite and weight gain and is approved as Entyce for appetite stimulation in dogs. Elura is the second product that the FDA has approved for the management of unintended weight loss in cats,” according to the FDA website.

Elura’s safety was evaluated in a 56-day study in which the drug was administered to cats with unintended and documented weight loss and a history of CKD. Researchers found that cats receiving Elura had gained weight and cats in the control group had lost weight.

Additionally, a 6-month safety study of healthy domestic shorthair cats dosed with water or Elura at 1, 3, or 5 times the labeled dose of 2 mg/kg once daily, found that Elura caused weight gain in all treatment groups. Additionally, cats in groups given 3 and 5 times the labeled dose of Elura consumed more food than cats in the other groups.

The most common adverse reactions associated with Elura in both studies were vomiting and hypersalivation—both were seen more frequently in male cats.

Elura is available by prescription only, as it should be administered only by veterinary personnel with the expertise to ensure safe use of the drug, assess the patient for contraindications and monitor for adverse reactions. The drug is supplied in 15 mL bottles with an oral dosing syringe.

Elura is sponsored by Elanco US, Inc.