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J Vet Intern Med. 2011 Nov-Dec;25(6):1357-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.00799.x. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

The efficacy and safety of a novel lipophilic formulation of methimazole for the once daily transdermal treatment of cats with hyperthyroidism.

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  • 1Institute of Veterinary and Animal Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.



Previous studies on transdermal methimazole have used pluronic lecithin organogel as the vehicle. This might not be the most suitable vehicle for a lipophilic drug, such as methimazole.


Once daily transdermal administration of a novel lipophilic formulation of methimazole is as safe and effective as oral carbimazole in treating hyperthyroidism in cats.


Forty-five client-owned cats diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.


Prospective study. Cats with newly diagnosed, untreated hyperthyroidism were treated with carbimazole (5 mg p.o., q12h) or methimazole (10 mg) applied to the inner pinnae q24h. Cats were examined after 0, 1, 4, 8, and 12 weeks of treatment. Clinical signs, body weight, systolic blood pressure, hematologic, serum biochemical and urine parameters, total serum thyroxine concentrations (TT4), and serum methimazole concentrations were recorded.


No significant differences between groups were detected at day 0. Both formulations were effective in treating hyperthyroidism. No significant differences were detected in thyroxine concentrations, body weight, blood pressure, heart rate, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, creatinine, urea, and urine specific gravity (USG) between groups. The serum methimazole concentrations correlated poorly with TT4-concentrations in both groups.


In this 12-week trial, once daily application of a novel formulation of transdermal methimazole applied to the pinnae was as effective and safe as twice daily oral carbimazole in the treatment of cats with hyperthyroidism. This novel formulation and transdermal application could have practical advantages to some pet owners.

Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

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