Comparison of N-acetylcysteine and methylene blue, alone or in combination, for treatment of acetaminophen toxicosis in cats

Wilson K. Rumbeiha From the Comparative Toxicology Laboratories, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-5606.

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Yu-Shang Lin From the Comparative Toxicology Laboratories, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-5606.

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Frederick W. Oehme From the Comparative Toxicology Laboratories, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-5606.

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SUMMARY

Acetaminophen is widely used in human beings for analgesic purposes, but is one of the most frequent causes of poisoning in cats. Acetaminophen-poisoned cats develop methemoglobinemia and sometimes hepatic failure. To determine the benefit of using methylene blue, a treatment for methemoglobinemia, along with N-acetylcysteine (nac), the recommended treatment for acetaminophen-poisoned cats, groups of 3 male and 3 female cats each were given methylene blue nac, or both after administration of acetaminophen (120 mg/kg of body weight, po). Male cats seemed more susceptible than female cats to acetaminophen toxicosis, because 3 males died of hepatic failure (2 cats given acetaminophen/methylene blue and 1 given acetaminophen/nac/methylene blue). Although nac alone seemed to elicit the best overall response, methylene blue, alone or in combination with nac, may be useful in female cats.

SUMMARY

Acetaminophen is widely used in human beings for analgesic purposes, but is one of the most frequent causes of poisoning in cats. Acetaminophen-poisoned cats develop methemoglobinemia and sometimes hepatic failure. To determine the benefit of using methylene blue, a treatment for methemoglobinemia, along with N-acetylcysteine (nac), the recommended treatment for acetaminophen-poisoned cats, groups of 3 male and 3 female cats each were given methylene blue nac, or both after administration of acetaminophen (120 mg/kg of body weight, po). Male cats seemed more susceptible than female cats to acetaminophen toxicosis, because 3 males died of hepatic failure (2 cats given acetaminophen/methylene blue and 1 given acetaminophen/nac/methylene blue). Although nac alone seemed to elicit the best overall response, methylene blue, alone or in combination with nac, may be useful in female cats.

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