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Transdermal Medications...what do you all know?

May 1st, 2006, 06:25 PM
I posted a week ago with the title about strange elderly cat behavior. Well my cat who is 15 was diagnosed as hyperthyroid. The vet has put her on a "transdermal" form of methimazole. I have to put the gel in her ear 3x per day until her next blood test.

Here is the thing. I have to use surgical gloves so I don't get any on my skin. After I give her the gel and take the gloves off, I can still smell the medication on my skin. Is it just the smell or am I getting some of that stuff on my skin too? I don't want my thyroid messed up using this. I wash my hands right away afterward too, but it still kind of makes me worried.

I asked the vet and he said, "You should be fine but if you're worried, use a double thickness of glove." Sayyy whaaat? I "should" be fine? I take that to mean that he isn't sure. That gives me the creeps.

I read piles of research that shows that transdermal methimazole absorbs and produces better results than pills, that it has less side effects to the GI system and that cats seem less stressed than having to be "pilled". So, we'd like to stick with the gel but I'm worried about it going through my skin too.

Have any of you used the gel? Do you know more about how safe it is to be administrating it?


May 2nd, 2006, 11:01 AM
The only time I used that type of medication was after surgery for my cat. It was for the pain and I was putting it on his ear. I found the surgical gloves worked fine and I think I would have felt something if some of the medicaion was going through the glove.

If you feel some is getting through the glove you could always have a test done with your doctor to confirm it and then go from there. Another thing is to put something over the tip of your fingers that you are applying the medication with, before putting on the glove. That would give a bit further protection.

May 2nd, 2006, 11:53 AM
I also apply a transdermal gel to my cat's ears daily. I have the gloves that come with his syringes. I also have a box of gloves I bought at the drug store. If out of gloves I double wrap Saran wrap around my finger and go it. I have yet to have gel penetrate and touch my skin. Certainly I can smell it, but that is about it. One or twice the cat has shaken some of the gel on to my skin and I just rinsed thoroughly. Funny, all of the research I have done indicated that pills are more effective but that most people can't get their cats to swallow a pill - heck this cat tries to bite me etc. when applying the gel - and while the gel is not as effective, it is better than nothing. May depend on what gel is used for - in my cat's case a liver ailment.

May 6th, 2006, 12:04 PM
SnowDancer I think there has been more research done on the transdermal least for hyperthyroidism, in the past year that suggests better results than before. Maybe they've improved it or perhaps they just have more feedback now.

I think sometimes it also depends on whether or not the owner keeps the cat's ears clean. We swab out her ear with a skin-friendly antibacterial wash every day so the gel is going onto clean skin. The documentation my vet gave me on the gel stated that in many cases where the gel may not have been perceived to be as effective as pills, the ears may not have been "optimum". Also, some cats wash more often than others, get some gel on their paws and lick it off and this could actually improve the efficacy of the med.

I can't imagine the "fun" of having my cat bite me when applying the gel! Poor you! Our cat is good with pills but only for so long. Then she gets wild. So far, she seems to be adjusting to the gel. I had a cat years ago that had an intestinal disorder that caused her to get diahrrea quite often. She had to be pilled once a day to stop it. Silly thing was excellent at taking her pills because I'd always give her fish after.:cool: She'd purr the whole way through. Never had another cat like her. Darn. lol

Take care,