Famciclovir for Cats
General Drug Information and Indications
How to Give this Medication
Famciclovir is a human drug that is used to treat cats with clinical disease due to feline herpes virus infection (FHV-1). Famciclovir itself is not active in either humans or cats; it is metabolized to an active form, penciclovir. Although there is still some debate regarding how cats absorb and utilize this drug, there have been some very persuasive studies that indicate that famciclovir can be useful for treating cats with clinical disease due to FHV-1.
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.
Give this medication to your pet exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. If you miss giving your pet a dose of famciclovir, 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.
Famciclovir may be given with food.
Wash your hands after giving your pet this medication.
Be sure to discuss any side effects with your veterinarian immediately.
Famciclovir is a relatively new drug and there is minimal information available about its side effects. This drug was well tolerated by cats in two recent studies.
Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. Famciclovir 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.
If your cat has kidney problems, your veterinarian will probably use a lower dose of famciclovir and may need to monitor kidney function.
Be sure to review with your veterinarian any medications or supplements your pet may be receiving.
Probenicid may increase the levels of the active form of famciclovir.
If you suspect that your pet or another animal has been accidentally overdosed 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 have 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
Different strengths or dosage forms of famciclovir may have different storage requirements. Read the label or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements of the prescription you receive.
About the Author
Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
You can purchase books by Dr. Forney at www.exclusivelyequine.com
The information contained on this site is general in nature and is intended for use as an informational aid. It does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the products shown, nor is the information intended as medical advice or diagnosis for individual health problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of using a particular product. You should consult your doctor about diagnosis and treatment of any health problems. Information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), nor has the FDA approved the products to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.
Wedgewood Pharmacy's compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals.