Solensia is the tradename for a drug called Frunevetmab. Solensia for cats is a monoclonal antibody that prevents pain by inhibiting nerve growth factor (NGF), which causes pain originating within the spinal cord. The release of NGF from damaged cells in arthritic joints contributes to the pain often associated with osteoarthritis.
After administration, Solensia will seek out and target NGF and inhibit its actions, therefore, providing cats relief from arthritic pain. A steady state is achieved after 2 monthly doses, which means that the maximum effect is seen after 2 injections. However, some cats may start to show signs of improvement after the first dose.
The effects of Solensia for cats have been shown to last for at least 4 weeks after the last injection.
One of the biggest benefits of using Solensia for cats is that it is a targeted treatment specifically for cats in pain due to arthritis. This means that it is less likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects and renal disease often seen with traditional NSAIDs or corticosteroids that would be used to manage chronic pain due to arthritis in cats. In addition, because it is given as a monthly injection, it is a convenient and easy way to manage your cat's pain, without having to deal with daily medications.
Solensia is given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous) by your veterinarian once a month. The usual dose is 1 vial (1 mL) for cats weighing 2.5 to 7 kg and 2 vials (2 mLs) for cats weighing 7.1 to 14 kg. Dosing for cats is done based on current weight, not ideal weight.
Contraindications and Possible Side Effects
Although side effects are not typically noticed, the most common side effects reported in clinical trials were injection site reactions (such as redness, alopecia, and itching), lethargy/decreased activity, and vomiting. These side effects were usually mild and resolved on their own without treatment. Additionally, if your cat experiences itchiness or dermatitis, this does not mean you have to stop the therapy, but you should discuss this with your veterinarian to develop an appropriate plan for your cat.
If you notice any serious side effects or if your cat's condition does not improve after starting Solensia, be sure to contact your veterinarian. Any medication has the potential to cause side effects so be sure to talk to your veterinarian about the potential risks and benefits of using Solensia for cats before starting treatment.
Solensia should not be used in cats that are under 12 months old or 2.5 kg, due to a lack of safety information. It is also not advised to use it in cases of hypersensitivity to the active substance or any of the ingredients. Solensia has not been evaluated in cats with late-stage kidney disease, so a benefit-risk assessment should be done on a case-by-case basis.