Metacam: Product Information (Page 3 of 4)

Adverse Reactions:

Cats: A field study involving 138 cats was conducted. Of the 72 cats receiving METACAM Injection, six cats (8.3%) experienced post-treatment elevated serum blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels. The pre-treatment values were in the normal range. Of the 66 cats in the butorphanol treatment group, no cats experienced post-treatment elevated serum blood urea nitrogen levels. Nine cats (12.5%) receiving METACAM Injection had post-treatment anemia. Pre-treatment, these cats all had hematocrit and hemoglobin values in the normal range. Four cats (6.1%) in the butorphanol treatment group had post-treatment anemia. All but one cat, who had a mild anemia pre-treatment (hematocrit=21% and hemoglobin=7.0 g/dL) had normal pre-treatment values. Twenty-four hours after the injection with METACAM Injection, one cat experienced pain upon palpation of the injection site.

Foreign Experience:

Repeated use in cats has been associated with acute renal failure and death. In studies used for the foreign approval of METACAM Injection in cats, lethargy, vomiting, inappetance, and transient pain immediately after injection were noted. Diarrhea and fecal occult blood have also been reported.

Post-Approval Experience (Rev. 2009):

The following adverse reactions are based on post-approval adverse drug event reporting. The categories are listed in decreasing order of frequency by body system:

Urinary: azotemia, elevated creatinine, elevated phosphorus, renal failure

Gastrointestinal: anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea

Neurologic/Behavioral: lethargy, depression

Hematologic: anemia

Death has been reported as an outcome of the adverse events listed above. Acute renal failure and death have been associated with the use of meloxicam in cats.

To report suspected adverse drug events, for technical assistance or to obtain a copy of the SDS, contact Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., 1-888-637-4251.

For additional information about adverse drug experience reporting for animal drugs, contact FDA at 1-888-FDA-VETS or online at .

Information For Cat Owners:

Meloxicam, like other NSAIDs, is not free from adverse reactions. Owners should be advised of the potential for adverse reactions and be informed of the clinical signs associated with NSAID intolerance. Adverse reactions may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite and behavioral changes.

Cat owners should be advised when their pet has received a meloxicam injection. Cat owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if possible adverse reactions are observed.

Clinical Pharmacology:

Meloxicam has nearly 100% bioavailability after subcutaneous injection in cats. The terminal elimination half life after a single dose is estimated to be approximately 15 hrs (+/-10%) in cats. Peak drug concentrations of 1.1 mcg/mL can be expected to occur within 1.5 hours following a 0.3 mg/kg subcutaneous injection in cats. The volume of distribution (Vdλ) in cats is approximately 0.27 L/kg, with an estimated total systemic clearance of 0.013 L/hr/kg. The drug is 97% bound to feline plasma proteins.


Cats: The effectiveness of METACAM Injection was demonstrated in a masked field study involving a total of 138 cats representing various breeds. This study used butorphanol as an active control. Cats received either a single subcutaneous injection of 0.3 mg/kg METACAM Injection or 0.4 mg/kg butorphanol prior to onychectomy, either alone or in conjunction with surgical neutering. All cats were premedicated with acepromazine, induced with propofol and maintained on isoflurane. Pain assessment variables evaluated by veterinarians included additional pain intervention therapy, gait/lameness score, analgesia score, sedation score, general impression score, recovery score, and visual analog scale score. Additionally, a cumulative pain score, which was the summation of the analgesia, sedation, heart rate and respiratory rate scores was evaluated. A palpometer was used to quantify the pain threshold.

A substantial number of cats required additional intervention in the 0-24 hour postsurgical period, with the majority of these interventions taking place within the first hour. Therefore, the percentage of cats in each group that received one or more interventions was designated as the primary assessment variable. Approximately half of the cats in each group received a pain intervention as a result of the first (time 0) post-surgical evaluation, i.e., extubation. At this point, the need to provide a pain intervention was not statistically significant between the two groups (p=0.7215). However, the median number of interventions was one per cat in the meloxicam group and two per cat in the butorphanol group and this difference was statistically significant (p=0.0021). The statistical evaluation supports the conclusion that the meloxicam test article is non-inferior to the butorphanol active control. Forty-eight of the 72 cats in the meloxicam group received one or more interventions (66.7%), and 47 of 66 cats in the butorphanol group received one or more interventions (71.2%). The number of interventions administered to the meloxicam group was less than the butorphanol group at 1, 3, 5, 8, 12, and 24 hours post-surgery.

Cats receiving METACAM Injection showed improvement in the pain assessment variables.

Animal Safety:

Cats: 3 Day Target Animal Safety Study — In a three day safety study, subcutaneous METACAM Injection administration to healthy cats at up to 1.5 mg/kg (5X the recommended dose) resulted in vomiting in three cats (1 of 6 control cats and 2 of 6 cats in 5X) and loose stools in four cats (2 of 6 control cats and 2 of 6 cats in 5X). Fecal occult blood was detected in ten of the twenty four cats, including two cats in the control group. This was not a dose-related event.

Clinically significant hematologic changes seen included increased PT and APTT in two cats (1 of 6 control cats and 1 of 6 cats in 5X), and elevated white blood cell counts in cats having renal or GI tract lesions. Serum chemistry changes observed included decreased total protein in four of 24 cats (1 of 6 cats in 1X, 2 of 6 cats in 3X and 1 of 6 cats in 5X), concomitant increases in blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine values in 2 of 6 cats in 5X.

Histological examination revealed gastrointestinal lesions ranging from inflammatory cell infiltration of the mucosa of the GI tract to erosions. Mesenteric lymphadenopathy was identified in 1 of 6 cats in 1X. Renal changes ranged from dilated medullary (2 of 6 cats in 1X, 1 of 6 cats in 3X, and 1 of 6 cats in 5X) and cortical (3 of 6 cats in 1X, 1 of 6 cats in 3X, and 3 of 6 cats in 5X) tubules and inflammation (2 of 6 cats in 1X, 2 of 6 cats in 3X, and 2 of 6 cats in 5X) or fibrosis (2 of 6 cats in 3X and 2 of 6 cats in 5X) of the interstitium to necrosis of the tip of the papilla (5 of 6 cats in 5X).

Subsequent oral dosing — In a nine day study with three treatment groups, METACAM Injection was given as a single subcutaneous injection using doses of 0 mg/kg (saline injection), 0.3 mg/kg and 0.6 mg/kg on Day 0. METACAM Oral Suspension, 1.5 mg/mL or saline was then administered orally once-daily at the same respective dose (0.3 or 0.6 mg/kg) for eight consecutive days. Clinical adverse reactions included vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased food consumption in the treated groups, and one day of diarrhea in one control cat. The gross necropsy report includes observation of reddened GI mucosa in 3 of 4 cats in the 0.3 mg/kg group and 1 of 4 cats in the 0.6 mg/kg group. All saline-treated cats were normal. By Day 9, one cat in both the 0.3 mg/kg group and the 0.6 mg/kg group died and another cat in the 0.3 mg/kg group was moribund. The cause of death for these cats could not be determined, although the pathologist reported pyloric/duodenal ulceration in the cats in 0.6 mg/kg group. The safety studies demonstrate a narrow margin of safety.

Injection Site Tolerance — Histopathology of the injection sites revealed hemorrhage and inflammation, myofiber atrophy, panniculitis, fibrin deposition, and fibroblast proliferation. These findings were present in cats in all groups, with the 3X cats having the most present. No safe repeat dose has been established in cats.

Storage Information:

Store at controlled room temperature, 68-77°F (20-25°C). When used as labeled, there is no limit on the number of punctures throughout the full expiry period.

How Supplied:

METACAM 5 mg/mL Solution for Injection: 10 mL vial, NDC 0010-6013-01 – 10 mL


1 Slingsby L.S., A.E. Waterman-Pearson. Comparison between meloxicam and carprofen for postoperative analgesia after feline ovariohysterectomy. Jour of Small Anim Pract (2002)43:286-289.

Approved by FDA under NADA # 141-219

Marketed by:
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc.
Duluth, GA 30096

METACAM is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH, used under license.

Revised 09/2019

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