Pradofloxacin For Cats: Overview, Dosage & Side Effects

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Pradofloxacin for cats, which goes by the brand name Veraflox, and is manufactured by Bayer Animal Health, is an antibiotic often used in veterinary medicine that is FDA-approved for use in cats for certain types of bacterial infections. In this article, you’ll learn what pradofloxacin is, how it works, some of its applications, possible side effects, and some frequently asked questions.

Pradofloxacin For Cats Overview

Medication Type:
Fluoroquinolone antibiotic.
Form:
Oral suspension, oral tablet
Prescription Required?:
Yes
FDA Approved?:
Yes
Life Stage:
May be used at any age, but safety in cats less than 12 weeks has not been fully evaluated.
Brand Names:
Veraflox
Common Names:
Pradofloxacin
Available Dosages:
Oral 25mg/ml suspension in 15 and 30ml bottles. A 15mg oral tablet is approved for use in cats in UK and Europe only. 15mg, 60mg, and 120mg tablets are approved for use in dogs only.
Expiration Range:
The oral suspension is stable for 60 days after opening if kept at room temperature (below 86 degrees F, 30 degrees C). The oral tablets should be used before their expiration date and should be protected from light and moisture once opened.

About Pradofloxacin For Cats

Pradofloxacin is an antibiotic in the fluoroquinolone class, which also includes the antibiotic marbofloxacin (Zeniquin) and enrofloxacin (Baytril). While other fluoroquinolones are in tablet form, pradofloxacin is the first oral liquid formulation approved for use in cats.

Pradofloxacin may be used for a variety of infections in cats, ranging from the skin to the respiratory tract to the urinary tract. 

Pradofloxacin has enhanced activity against oxygen-dependent (aerobic) gram-positive staining bacteria, as well as bacteria that are not oxygen dependent (anaerobes). It also has activity against gram-negative staining bacteria.

Pradofloxacin is a bactericidal antibiotic that is concentration dependent. Bactericidal means that pradofloxacin actively kills bacteria versus stopping their growth like bacteriostatic antibiotics. 

Being a concentration-dependent antibiotic means that its activity and effectiveness are dependent on its concentration at the needed location of infection.

Pradofloxacin works to kill bacteria through two mechanisms that prevent them from synthesizing their own DNA.

What Does Pradofloxacin Do For Cats?

Pradofloxacin is an FDA-approved antibacterial for use in treating skin infections in cats, especially wounds and abscesses, caused by some specific bacterial strains. These include strains of Pasteurella, Streptococcus, and Staphylococcus

However, use of fluoroquinolones may also be in an extra-label manner for infections in other locations of the body, especially the respiratory tract and urinary tract. Bartonellosis and Mycoplasma haemofelis, both organisms that can cause infections in the blood of cats, may also be susceptible to pradofloxacin. 

Also Read: Cat Upper Respiratory Infection

Like any antibiotic, pradofloxacin should only be used based on the presence of susceptible bacteria or a high suspicion of a susceptible infection. Antibiotic use is most successful based on bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity profile.

Bacterial culture samples are most commonly collected in the cases of skin and urinary tract infections because of their relative ease of sample collection. However, a veterinarian may decide to use an antibiotic like pradofloxacin empirically based on the knowledge of the types of bacteria typically present in a location and what antibiotics they’re typically sensitive to.

Side Effects Of Pradofloxacin For Cats

Pradofloxacin is the first oral liquid formulation of a fluoroquinolone class antibiotic approved for use in cats.

Pradofloxacin is generally well-tolerated by a majority of cats. According to the manufacturer, in a study of more than 200 cats, the most common side effect seen in about 3% of cats included diarrhea/loose stools. 

Other side effects have included gastrointestinal clinical signs like vomiting, decreased appetite, lethargy, and hypersalivation (excessive drooling).

In young, growing animals, fluoroquinolones have been associated with articular cartilage abnormalities. While still approved for cats older than 12 weeks of age, any fluoroquinolone should be used cautiously in developing animals. 

Pradofloxacin is approved for use for up to seven days in cats. The main cause for this indicated time period is that when used for longer than seven days, a reversible alteration in certain white blood cells occurred in some cats, where the counts of these cells decreased.

Because safety has not been fully evaluated, pradofloxacin is not approved for use in cats less than 12 weeks of age, pets that are pregnant or lactating, or cats who are immunocompromised, especially from feline leukemia virus (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).

Pradofloxacin should be used cautiously in cats with kidney insufficiency, as a majority of the drug is excreted through the urine. It should also be used with caution in cats with pre-existing neurologic disorders, and heart disease contributing to arrhythmias. 

Fluoroquinolones can lead to photosensitivity, meaning that the drug can increase the risk for sunburn. Be cautious if your kitty is on this medication and enjoys sunbathing a lot. Sensitive areas, especially the nose and areas with less hair like near the base of the ears, may be more susceptible.

While enrofloxacin (Baytril) has been associated with a form of blindness where the retina at the back of the eye is affected, this has not been demonstrated in cats with pradofloxacin. An ocular safety study involving 20 cats given high doses of pradofloxacin for 23 days demonstrated no significant retinal changes during that time. 

All cats in an oral pilot study that received pradofloxacin at a higher-than-labeled dose for 25 days experienced vomiting and hypersalivation (excessive drooling), suggesting this may be the most common thing to watch for with longer periods of use, higher doses, or overdoses.

Pradofloxacin can have some interactions with other medications. Chief among these in cats may include steroids like prednisolone and cyclosporine (Atopica). Because of the increased risk of kidney toxicity, use of pradofloxacin and cyclosporine together is not recommended. Always make sure to discuss medications your kitty is on with your veterinarian when considering pradofloxacin use. 

If you are ever concerned that your kitty may have developed side effects while using pradofloxacin, or if an overdose is suspected, make sure to contact your veterinarian, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435), or Pet Poison Helpline (1-855-764-7661) immediately for further advice. 

Pradofloxacin For Cats Dosage

Pradofloxacin can interact with other drugs and should not be used in cats with certain medical conditions.

Pradofloxacin is only labeled for oral administration use in cats and kittens over the age of 12 weeks. 

The labeled, FDA-approved dose for pradofloxacin (Veraflox) according to the manufacturer, is 7.5 milligrams/kilogram (3.4 milligrams/pound) of body weight given orally once daily for seven consecutive days. 

Veraflox is only available for cats as a 25 milligram/milliliter oral suspension liquid in the United States. A 15 milligram tablet form is approved for use in the the United Kingdom and Europe. If a fluoroquinolone is needed and tablets are preferred, veterinarians will often utilize marbofloxacin, which has a similar efficacy and safety profile. 

There may be some situations where a veterinarian may wish to use a fluoroquinolone for longer than seven days. While considered off-label use, this is not uncommon and it is important to follow your veterinarian’s directions when using any antibiotic. In some of these indications for longer use, a recheck blood work panel may be recommended.

Even if your kitty appears to be doing or feeling better, always finish out a prescribed antibiotic dosage course, unless concerning adverse effects are seen. Stopping an antibiotic too early may increase the risk that bacteria may rebound and develop resistance to that antibiotic, making it ineffective. 

Pradofloxacin is best dosed on an empty stomach, as administration with food may reduce its absorption. However, if your kitty shows signs of digestive upset shortly after dosing, giving with a small amount of food may help. Use of certain antacids should be avoided as they may reduce pradofloxacin’s absorption.

Conclusion

Pradofloxacin is a very useful fluoroquinolone antibiotic for use in cats, especially in cases where a liquid formulation is preferred. A liquid formulation also allows for more accurate dosing compared to tablets.

Most side effects and toxicities are limited to vomiting, drooling, and loose stool. Pradofloxacin is not an antibiotic indicated for all types of infections, and its indication for use should be restricted to a veterinarian’s discretion. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pradofloxacin used for in cats?

Pradofloxacin (Veraflox) is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that may be used for a variety of bacterial infections in cats. While labeled for use in skin infections, wounds, and abscesses in kitties, this class of antibiotic may also be used for infections in other locations, including the respiratory and urinary tracts.

What is Veraflox used for in cats?

Veraflox is the brand name for pradofloxacin, which is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that may be used for a variety of infections in cats. While labeled for use in skin infections, wounds, and abscesses in kitties, this class of antibiotic may also be used for infections in other locations, including the respiratory and urinary tracts.

How long does it take for Veraflox to work in cats?

In cats, pradofloxacin is rapidly absorbed, reaching peak concentrations within the body in one to two hours. Repeat doses do not greatly affect the efficacy of pradofloxacin, so dosing more often than the indicated 24 hours periods may not have benefit and may only increase the risk for side effects. 

What is marbofloxacin used for in cats?

Marbofloxacin is also a fluoroquinolone commonly used in cats. It has a similar spectrum of activity and safety profile in kitties to pradofloxacin. Marbofloxacin only comes in a tablet form. The main advantage to using pradofloxacin over marbofloxacin may depend mostly on what dosing form (liquid versus tablet) is going to be most successfully used at home.

About Dr. Chris Vanderhoof, DVM, MPH

Dr. Chris Vanderhoof is a 2013 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM) at Virginia Tech, where he also earned a Masters in Public Health. He completed a rotating internship with Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey and now works as a general practitioner in the Washington D.C. area. Dr. Vanderhoof is also a copywriter specializing in the animal health field and founder of Paramount Animal Health Writing Solutions, which can be found at www.animalhealthcopywriter.com. Dr. Vanderhoof lives in the Northern Virginia area with his family, including 3 cats.

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