How dose Librela & Solensia work?
Librela is a veterinary medicine used for the alleviation of pain associated with osteoarthritis in dogs. It contains the active substance bedinvetmab which is a monoclonal antibody (a type of protein) designed to recognize and attach to a protein called nerve growth factor (NGF). Once attached, it prevents NGF from attaching to its receptors (targets) on nerve cells and interrupts the transmission of pain signals. This helps to bring relief from pain.
Solensia is a veterinary medicinal product, the active substance in Solensia is frunevetmab, a felinised monoclonal antibody (a type of cat-specific protein) designed to recognize and attach to a protein called nerve growth factor (NGF), which is involved in the regulation of pain. When frunevetmab binds to NGF, it prevents the bound NGF from attaching to its receptors on nerve cells where it regulates pain signalling. This way, it helps relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Both of Librela and Solensia are solutions for injection to be given subcutaneously (under the skin) for cats or dogs, the recommended dose depends on pet’s weight, and the medicine can only be obtained with a prescription, you should consult with your vet for the best possible recommendation for your pet.
The advantage over the traditional treatment (Cartrophen / NSAIDs)
According to studies, osteoarthritic pain impacts almost 40% of cats and dogs that suffering from osteoarthritis (OA) globally, with NSAIDs and Cartrophen being two of the most common treatment options. Although effective, administering these traditional treatments comes with limitations.
Some patients may have concurrent conditions that require administration of several medications, and some may not be able to tolerate NSAIDs as a result of other conditions. NSAIDS may be associated with gastrointestinal ulcers/perforations, liver, and kidney toxicity, and with common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, not eating/eating less, and lethargy. And Cartrophen may has an effect on blood coagulation temporarily. There are also issues with owner compliance and difficulty in administering NSAIDs and Cartrophen in some patients.
On the contrary, we mentioned before, Liberla and Solensia as monoclonal antibodies, they are eliminated by the body in the same way as naturally occurring proteins, with minimal NSAIDs involvement of the liver or the kidney. It’s one of the advantages over NSAID.
The use of Liberla and Solensia still has side effects, however, compared with traditional treatment, the impact and damage on patients will be less. The most common side effects with Solensia are skin reactions (itching, skin inflammation and hair loss); and the most common side effects with Librela are mild injection site reactions, e.g., swelling and heat.
Moreover, compared with Cartrophen which is given weekly and NSAIDs is given daily, the new treatment aims to provide effective pain relief through monthly injectable treatment, which eliminates any issues with pet owners compliance of medicating at home.
Although the main study shows that liberal and Solensia are effective in reducing chronic OA pain in cats and dogs, these drugs still have contraindications. Therefore, owners should consult your vets to come up with the best possible treatment for your pets.