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Cidofovir for Cats

By Barbara Forney, VMD

Commonly prescribed for: Infections of the eye (conjunctivitis and keratitis) associated with feline herpes virus (FHV-1)

Species: Cats

Therapeutic Class: Broad-spectrum Anti-viral


General Drug Information and Indications

Cidofovir is a powerful, broad-spectrum anti-viral drug. It is used in cats to treat infections of the eye (conjunctivitis and keratitis) associated with feline herpes virus (FHV-1). Cidofovir has been found to be effective with twice a day administration and a relatively short duration of treatment. Like many other drugs in veterinary medicine, this drug is not FDA approved for use in animals and is not available from a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer. Instead, it is compounded by a specialty pharmacy.

How to Give this Medication

Give this medication to your pet exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. If you miss giving your pet a dose of cidofovir, give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, return to the regular schedule. Do not double dose to catch up.

Administering eye medications to animals can be a struggle and may require patience and practice. Try not to touch the tube or container tip to your cat’s eye or eyelid. It is also important to not contaminate the medication by touching the tip with your fingers or hand. Your veterinarian can help you develop a technique that will be effective and minimally stressful for both you and your cat.

If you are giving your cat more than one eye medication, try to allow at least 5 minutes between medications.

Wash your hands after giving your pet this medication.

Side Effects

Be sure to discuss any side effects with your veterinarian immediately.

The weaker 0.5% ophthalmic solution is not reported to cause any side effects. Stronger concentration solutions may cause some irritation to the eye. Conjunctivitis and swollen eyelids were seen in a human study using 1% solution.

Systemic side effects are unlikely with cidofovir ophthalmic.

Precautions

Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. Cidofovir is a prescription drug and should be used according to your veterinarian’s directions. It should only be given to the animal for which it was prescribed. Do not give this medication to a person.

Cidofovir is only effective against viral infections. It will not be effective in cases of a bacterial conjunctivitis.

Drug Interactions

Be sure to review with your veterinarian any medications or supplements your pet may be receiving.

The anti-viral activity of cidofovir may be decreased by topical ophthalmic corticosteroids.

Overdose

If you suspect your pet or another animal was overdosed accidentally or has eaten this medication inadvertently, contact your veterinarian or the A.S.P.C.A.’s Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. Always bring the prescription container with you when you take your pet for treatment.

If you or someone else has accidentally ingested this medication call the National Capital Poison Center at 800.222.1222.

Storage

Different strengths or dosage forms of cidofovir may have different storage requirements. Read the labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements of the prescription you receive.

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Popular Cidofovir Dosage Forms

Dosage options starting at $7.60 per dose

Cidofovir: Ophthalmic Solution

Cidofovir: Ophthalmic Solution

Sterile solution, applied to the eye.

Cidofovir: Topical Ointment

Cidofovir: Topical Ointment

Medicated ointment for topical use.