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Easier way to give oral buprenorphine?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a cat with idiopathic interstitial cystitis. I have been giving her buprenorphine (buprenex) in her mouth by syringe, but she is a very skittish, uncooperative cat and hides when she senses I am ready to give it to her. It is a tasteless liquid, so it is not that which upsets her, but the process of catching her and putting it into her mouth. Apparently this medication cannot be mixed with anything as it changes the pH and neutralizes it. I have tried mixing it with food--just in case it works--but it doesn't seem to have an effect. I am stressed and the cat is stressed. Ironically, interstitial cystitis is supposed to be stress-related, and now she is much more stressed because I have to give this med to her. Any suggestions of how else to get this medication into her? It could be simple, if I only had a different approach.

Thanks for any suggestions.
post #2 of 10
Coco has that same med and also runs away if she sees it. I do not know of any other why of giving it.
post #3 of 10
Wait until she's sleeping (i.e. less likely to run away). Come over and gently pet her, then gently open the side of her mouth and squirt it in. Afterward, give her more petting and a treat. Buprenex needs to be squirted into the pocket between her cheek and her teeth.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwenny&lunasmom View Post
...Apparently this medication cannot be mixed with anything as it changes the pH and neutralizes it...
That didn't make any sense to me...and, I wasn't questioning what gwenny&lunasmom had said...I simply wondered, well...what happens when the drug hits the stomach acid?

I joined this forum - and several others - to learn as much as I could for the sake of my cats.

I've just learned (not that I didn't know, I suppose) that one never stops learning...

When prescribed for oral use...this drug is used "sublingually" (under the tongue)...just like the drug nitroglycerin - used by human 'heart patients' for angina. So, that's where cloud_shade's post is based..." Buprenex needs to be squirted into the pocket between her cheek and her teeth." There's a full description here.

So...unlike usual oral meds, when this is given, do not encourage swallowing...let it "sit" in the mouth as long as possible. The absorption occurs in the mouth, not the gut. That, it would seem, is the real reason for not "mixing" it with any other substance (as one would normally do with cat meds). Now, why, on earth, didn't the Vet explain it that way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwenny&lunasmom View Post
I am stressed and the cat is stressed. Ironically, interstitial cystitis is supposed to be stress-related, and now she is much more stressed because I have to give this med to her...
Certainly an unequivocal "Catch-22". I would try to alleviate my own stress by viewing it as a 10 second job that needed doing...and following cloud_shade's advice of steathily using her snooze time as "T minus 1".
post #5 of 10
I think I gave it to Coco wrong. I squirted it on her gums.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I think I gave it to Coco wrong. I squirted it on her gums.
Well, so long as it didn't go straight "down the hatch" and remained in the mouth, she probably had some benefit from it. Considering that you squirted it on the gums and she was probably resisting swallowing (don't they all?) it probably would have been absorbed.
post #7 of 10
I have a friend who is a dog breeder and knows a lot about animal health. Since I once had a cat who was very, very difficult to medicate, my friend told me that she knew someone who could make almost any medication into a salve to rub on the ear, and thus be absorbed this way. I don't know if this is true of this particular medication, but I've never had a vet tell me that this is possible, yet my friend medicated her cat this way for his hypothyroid condition. Fortunately, I never needed to investigate this for my cat, as her meds in her later years were all liquid, and that was easy to manage (compared to pills) for us.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I will try cloud-shade's suggestion of giving it to her when she is sleeping--I never thought of that approach before.

The vet told me about the pH thing and that it needs to be put under the tongue, but I am lucky if I get it anywhere in her mouth. I try to do it as quickly as possible, to minimize the time she is confined, but I guess I do need to be more careful about it. I try to put it in the pocket area, but she usually ends up opening her mouth and moving it around, so it doesn't always go where I intend. I wish I could find a quick way to do it properly. Practice makes perfect, I guess.

I haven't heard if this medication can be compounded to be put on the ears. I have heard that Amitryptline, another medication used for interstitial cystitis, is not very effective applied in this manner.

Thanks again for the dosing clarifications and suggestions.
post #9 of 10

My cat Feona is also on the buprenorphine for a mammary tumor (several).  We are just trying to make her comfortable.  She has licked one of her tumors to the point we had to put her on anti-biotics and this is also what the pain med is for.  Much like gwenny&lunas mom...Feona is skittish and has now started to hide from me.  She resists the oral med at all cost!!  Last night she made this noise like she was spitting it out... She has spunk I will give her that.  I wanted to wish you luck...it's such a hard situation.  I get so twisted debating whether or not the stress of giving it to her is worth the pain relief...I have to believe it is...I hope I'm right.  

post #10 of 10

My cat Feona is also on the buprenorphine for a mammary tumor (several).  We are just trying to make her comfortable.  She has licked one of her tumors to the point we had to put her on anti-biotics and this is also what the pain med is for.  Much like gwenny&lunas mom...Feona is skittish and has now started to hide from me.  She resists the oral med at all cost!!  Last night she made this noise like she was spitting it out... She has spunk I will give her that.  I wanted to wish you luck...it's such a hard situation.  I get so twisted debating whether or not the stress of giving it to her is worth the pain relief...I have to believe it is...I hope I'm right.  

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