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Zorbium for Cats: A Novel and Convenient Way to Control Postoperative Pain

Zorbium is a transdermal solution that contains buprenorphine, an opioid drug that can relieve pain in cats. Zorbium is the first and only FDA-approved long-acting transdermal buprenorphine for cats. It is indicated for the control of postoperative pain associated with surgical procedures in cats. Zorbium is applied by veterinary personnel to the skin at the base of the neck of the cat before surgery and provides pain relief for four days after a single dose.

Why Zorbium is Beneficial for Cats and Their Owners

Postoperative pain management is essential for the optimal recovery and well-being of cats after surgery. However, many cats may not receive adequate pain relief at home due to various reasons, such as difficulty in administering oral or injectable medications, lack of compliance or monitoring by owners, or hiding of pain signs by cats Zorbium offers a novel and convenient way to control postoperative pain in cats that can overcome these challenges and provide several benefits for cats and their owners, such as:

  • Consistent and reliable pain relief: Zorbium delivers buprenorphine continuously into the bloodstream through the skin for four days, ensuring a steady and effective level of analgesia throughout the recovery period
  • Reduced stress and discomfort: Zorbium eliminates the need for repeated injections or oral administration of pain medications, which can cause stress and discomfort for both cats and owners.
  • Enhanced safety and compliance: Zorbium reduces the risk of human exposure, misuse, abuse, or addiction to buprenorphine, which is a controlled substance that can cause serious or fatal respiratory depression in humans. Zorbium also simplifies the recordkeeping and disposal of controlled substances for veterinarians.

How Zorbium Works and How to Use It

Zorbium is a solution that contains 20 mg/mL of buprenorphine in a mixture of ethanol, propylene glycol, glycerin, and water. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist of the mu-opioid receptor, which is involved in pain perception and modulation. Buprenorphine binds to the mu-opioid receptor and activates it to produce analgesic effects, but with less respiratory depression and dependence potential than full agonists like morphine.

Zorbium is applied topically to the skin at the base of the neck of the cat by veterinary personnel one to two hours before surgery. The fur should not be clipped before application. The dose of Zorbium depends on the body weight of the cat. For smaller cats (2.6 to 6.6 lbs), 0.4 mL (8 mg) of Zorbium is applied. For larger cats (>6.6 to 16.5 lbs), 1 mL (20 mg) of Zorbium is applied. Zorbium comes in single-use, unit-dose applicator tubes that are pre-filled with either 0.4 mL or 1 mL of Zorbium.

Zorbium is rapidly absorbed into the layers of the skin after application and reaches the systemic circulation within one to two hours. Zorbium provides pain relief within one to two hours following administration and continually releases buprenorphine into the body over a period of days. The elimination half-life of buprenorphine after transdermal administration is about 26 hours in cats.

Zorbium should only be administered by veterinarians or veterinarian technicians who are trained in the handling of potent opioids. Impermeable latex or nitrile gloves, protective glasses, and a laboratory coat should be worn when applying Zorbium. Direct contact with Zorbium should be avoided, as it can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, or absorption of buprenorphine into humans. A minimum drying time of 30 minutes should be allowed before direct contact with the application site. If accidental exposure occurs, seek medical attention immediately.

Zorbium should not be used in cats with known hypersensitivity to buprenorphine or any of the excipients in Zorbium. Zorbium should be used with caution in cats with impaired hepatic or renal function, as buprenorphine is metabolized by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. Zorbium should also be used with caution in cats with respiratory disorders, head trauma, increased intracranial pressure, hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, or prostatic hypertrophy, as buprenorphine may worsen these conditions. Zorbium should not be used in conjunction with other opioids, sedatives, or anesthetics, as they may potentiate the effects or adverse reactions of buprenorphine.

The most common adverse reactions reported after the use of Zorbium in cats are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, dehydration, and pruritus. These reactions are usually mild and transient and do not require treatment. However, if any serious or persistent adverse reactions occur, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Conclusion

Zorbium is a transdermal solution that contains buprenorphine, an opioid drug that can relieve pain in cats. Zorbium is the first and only FDA-approved long-acting transdermal buprenorphine for cats. It is indicated for the control of postoperative pain associated with surgical procedures in cats. Zorbium is applied by veterinary personnel to the skin at the base of the neck of the cat before surgery and provides pain relief for four days after a single dose. Zorbium offers a novel and convenient way to control postoperative pain in cats that can provide several benefits for cats and their owners, such as consistent and reliable pain relief, reduced stress and discomfort, enhanced safety and compliance. Zorbium should only be administered by veterinarians or veterinarian technicians who are trained in the handling of potent opioids. Zorbium should be used with caution in cats with certain medical conditions or drug interactions. Zorbium may cause some adverse reactions that are usually mild and transient. Zorbium is a valuable addition to the feline pain management arsenal that can improve the quality of life and recovery of cats after surgery.

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