Research roundup: Can amantadine act as a pain-reliever in osteoarthritic cats?
A team of researchers led by Alonso Guedes, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVAA, and Kristi Flynn, DVM, studied the effects of amantadine, a drug used to treat the flu in humans, on the mobility and quality of life in a group of 13 client-owned cats with osteoarthritis (OA). The study found that the cats’ owners perceived significant improvements in mobility and quality of life in their pets that were taking amantadine. OA is a common and often painful condition in cats. Despite recent advances in therapy options, a safe and effective pain reliever for long term use has yet to be identified. However, this study represents an important first step toward safe and effective pain relief for cats with OA. Cats in the study were given either amantadine or a placebo for three weeks each (6 weeks total). Activity was continuously monitored with a collar mounted system and mobility-impaired activities were rated by the clients using a weekly questionnaire. Researchers were surprised to find that, although the cats appeared to have improved mobility and quality of life, the cats were less active when given amantadine than when given the placebo. The team acknowledges a need to replicate this study with a larger study. Regardless of this limitation, the drug amantadine appears to be an effective option for pain relief in osteoarthritic cats.
Read more in the paper published October 28, 2020, in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.