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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,491
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Vetmedin Availability and Alternatives

Once again I'm finding Vetmedin in short supply with it being "currently unavailable" on multiple sites and my usual pharmacy limiting quantity to 50 tablets.

 

While I have sufficient quantity for almost a month I am finding the frequency with which Vetmedin is unavailable troubling and a little stressful.

 

I'd like some input as to alternative medications that I can research and develop meaningful questions for discussion with my vet.

 

It should be noted the Vetmedin in given in conjunction with furosemide and enalapril.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,453
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Vetmedin Availability and Alternatives

@Marp   I believe Vetmedin along with furosemide and enalapril is the gold standard for certain heart conditions in dogs.  I used to have Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and many of them had mitral valve disease (MVD).  The early treatment was furosemide and enalapril.  As soon as Vetmedin came out, my Vet added that.

 

I would discuss this with my Vet and follow his or her protocol.


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Re: Vetmedin Availability and Alternatives


@NickNack wrote:

@Marp   I believe Vetmedin along with furosemide and enalapril is the gold standard for certain heart conditions in dogs.  I used to have Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and many of them had mitral valve disease (MVD).  The early treatment was furosemide and enalapril.  As soon as Vetmedin came out, my Vet added that.

 

I would discuss this with my Vet and follow his or her protocol.


@NickNack,  I agree that the Vetmedin is the gold standard for treatment but my concern is the best substitute for Vetmedin if it is unavailable when I need to reorder. 

 

I believe there are ongoing production problems with Vetmedin as I frequently find it currently unavailable across numerous pharmacies at the same time.  Doing price checking this week  three of the pharmacies I check most show it to be currently unavailable and the pharmacy I use most has a limit of 50 tablets.  Earlier this year there was another significant shortage of Vetmedin, as there was in 2018 and 2019.

 

Of course I would have a detailed discussion of any alternatives with my vet if it becomes necessary but I would like to have some insight into what questions I should ask about alternatives and the risk/benefit of other medications that might be recommended.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,696
Registered: ‎10-25-2010

Re: Vetmedin Availability and Alternatives

Vetmedin is always having supplies issues.  In addition, it is expensive and the price goes up often.

 

I stockpiled 18 months worth of RX for my dog just to be sure she would not run out.  She really did need it after a year or so of worrying myself sick over not being able to get it.   Last October she passed away while sitting on the floor looking at me.  I think her poor little heart just gave out.  She was not even 8 years old.

 

I was " stuck" with a lot of Vetmedin that was in the original boxes and unopened.  I didn't want to throw it out and the pharmacy would not take a return.

 

Finally, I sent it to my dog's breeder who has a dog who used it as well. She was extremely happy to get it.

 

This is my suggestions for getting and keeping asupply.

 

Always keep your supply filled for at least two months or more ahead.  Do not let your supply run low. Get on auto delivery.  The pharmacies will fill those orders first.

 

Since the pills are easy to break in half, you might be able to buy the pills with twice the MG your dog needs for one dozing and give half.  I did this and it saved me money too.  The larger MG pills were often in stock long after the smaller doses were gone. You will need a new RX from your Vet to do this.  I saved around $80 a month this way.

 

Best of luck.  I know how stressful it is when your pet needs this med to live and it is not available.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,491
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Vetmedin Availability and Alternatives

@Carmie,  I get the 2.5mg dose and give 1/2 twice a day.  I usually order 100 at a time but right now even my usual pharmacy is out of that dosage and is limiting quantities of all dosages to 30 tablets except for the 10mg dose which seems to be available. That is way too high a dose to play with.

 

When it comes back in stock I have no idea how much it will be.  Last order was $1.18 per pill.

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Honored Contributor
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Re: Vetmedin Availability and Alternatives

@Marp   My dog took 5mg twice a day, so I could buy the 10 mg pills and split them.

 

I agree, it would be difficult to split a 10 mg pill into a 2.5 dose.

 

This med is very popular and there is no substitute.  I hope you find some soon.  Sometimes Vet offices have them in stock.  I know mine does, but I didn't usually get mine from them.

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Re: Vetmedin Availability and Alternatives


@Carmie wrote:

@Marp   My dog took 5mg twice a day, so I could buy the 10 mg pills and split them.

 

I agree, it would be difficult to split a 10 mg pill into a 2.5 dose.

 

This med is very popular and there is no substitute.  I hope you find some soon.  Sometimes Vet offices have them in stock.  I know mine does, but I didn't usually get mine from them.


@Carmie,  the first time I got Vetmedin it was from the vet.  It would have to be an emergency before I would go there for the med again.

 

Once I started price comparison prior to needing a refill I was shocked because for most prescriptions he is within my price tolerance from other sources so I'm happy to buy through him but not with the Vetmedin.

 

Hopefully I'm stressing needlessly and supply will soon meet or exceed demand.

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Posts: 6,157
Registered: ‎07-07-2010

Re: Vetmedin Availability and Alternatives

@Marp  I know nothing about this medicine, but I am wondering if a compounding pharmacy might be able to help you.  I get my dog meds from a local one instead of ordering it from a regular pharmacy.

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Re: Vetmedin Availability and Alternatives


@SXMGirl wrote:

@Marp  I know nothing about this medicine, but I am wondering if a compounding pharmacy might be able to help you.  I get my dog meds from a local one instead of ordering it from a regular pharmacy.


@SXMGirl,  a compounding pharmacy cannot duplicate a commerical brand name drug except under specific and extraordinary circumstances. 

 

There is no generic equivalent for Vetmedin and since this is a relatively new medication there won't be a generic version for a long time.

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Super Contributor
Posts: 381
Registered: ‎04-24-2011

Re: Vetmedin Availability and Alternatives

I am going thru the same thing as you.  My Maltipoo is on Vetmedin 1.25mg 2x/day and Enalapril.  This constant shortage of Vetmedin drives me crazy.  I had been getting it from Vetsource but they don't have it and recently emailed me that it would probably not be back in stock before year's end.  I got it the last time from Allivet, but had to take the 2.5mg pill and cut in half.  I just started my last 100 pills, so I am good thru almost the end of the year.

 

The last time with the shortage I got some pills that a local vet had "compounded" and had available -- very expensive.  When I told my regular vet, she checked it out with a cardiologist and I was told they were not effective.  That was a lot of $ down the drain.  So, I wouldn't try that route.

 

When they do come back in stock, it's not easy storing up a big supply since the pills are so expensive.  This is a real problem and I wish I had a good solution.