Temgesic For Cats And How Do I Administer A Sub Lingual Tablet?

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by Gaven Kent, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Gaven Kent

    Gaven Kent Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    Apr 21, 2017
    North West London UK
    I've just joined the site. I have two wonderful cats. Carter is 17 and Hugo is 4. Both are accidental cats where luck has played a huge part in bringing us together. I've had both since 8 weeks old. Carter is allegedly half Burmese according to his paperwork. He is getting old but is the same cat he was 15 years ago. I noticed that he is not putting on weight even though he eats good food and a lot of it. Also his fur started looking unkempt and he's drinking more. A quick trip to the vets confirmed my suspicions. He has an overactive thyroid gland and has arthritis in his back legs. The thyroid issue has two solutions. One is medication to manage it and the other a non surgical removal of the thyroid. It involves being in vet care for up to 8 weeks which would kill him. We are going the daily medication route. His arthritis is clearly causing discomfort and the vet have us Temgesic to deal with his pain. On researching this I discovered that its Buprenorphine more commonly known in the UK as Subutex. It's a heavy duty pain killer used in helping people with opiate addictions. Carter is on half a 0.2mg tablet a day. This is all well except the tablet is sub lingual meaning it has to dissolve under the tongue to work. The human version is the same. I'm finding it impossible to give him this tablet. He ends up swallowing it. We managed one dose where it dissolves and within 20mins he was zonked out in an opiate dream world. I'm worried because this medication is so strong and surely regular use will give him a dependency. It costs £20 per two weeks so isn't expensive. A liquid version is available at 3 times more money. Does anybody know of an alternative that isn't as potent and doesn't cause drowsiness? I want him to be pain free but not asleep all day as even at 17 he is active and basically the same cat from 15 years ago. Our other cat Hugo is very close to Carter. They spend all their time together and have a wonderful friendship. I want Carter to enjoy his remaining years as I'm aware that he is at the evening time of his life. I had a half Burmese cat as a child and she lives to 20 so I hope Carter outdoes that! Any advice regarding Temgesic and over active thyroid in cats would be appreciated. Thanks
  2. stephenq

    stephenq TCS Member Veteran

    Jun 19, 2003
    East Coast, USA
    I'm not sure of thje cost but there is a sub q injectable version of this drug.
    Gaven Kent purraised this.
  3. pushylady

    pushylady Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Jul 26, 2005
    I don't know about the Temgesic, but the Buprenorphine the same drug my friend's cat Hobbes is on. I've cat-sat her a lot, and how she gets this med is by squirting it on to her gums. It's a tiny amount twice daily and it really seems to help her as she's 20 years old now and has arthritis and kidney issues. My friend was worried about the strength of the medications, and the vet told her to lower the dose. It's only a tiny bit now, but it does make a difference. At her stage of life, keeping her comfortable is the main concern.
    PushPurrCatPaws and Gaven Kent purraised this.
  4. Gaven Kent

    Gaven Kent Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    Apr 21, 2017
    North West London UK
    Hi. Thanks for the advice. We are going to the vets tomorrow to collect the thyroid medication. Also the vet has an alternative medication to Temgesic for the arthritis. It's apparently like a feline ibuprofen. Again I'm a little confused as going from an opiate to something that's the equivalent to an over the counter medication seems strange. I'm hoping to be able to get a liquid form of Temgesic that I can give in lower doses so still get Carter the pain relief he needs without having so much he zones out. I'm not sure if the ibuprofen type meds are just to reduce any inflammation and are used with pain relief. we managed to administer a very small dose of Temgesic tablet an hour ago. It was a quarter of a 0.2mg tablet. It's clearly visible that it's working. His movement is less strained and he seems happier. I was shocked at the cost though. Four 0.2mg tablets was £40 and with blood tests and the consultation it worked out at £200. A small price to pay for our loyal companion but shocking that his insurance doesn't cover it
  5. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    May 22, 2015
    Ibuprofen is an NSAID [nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug] and can have a whole host of other side effects. I recommend doing some quick research about those used for felines, as food for thought.

    The vet will be able to discuss it more, and maybe help with deciding which is better for Carter at this time (and for how long).

    This is what I was mentioning on your other thread, that you can lower the dose to try to find more of the balance between an active, happier, less pained Carter versus a "comatose" Carter.

    There is a liquid version, (and a subQ/injectable version> -- Buprenex) of Buprenorphine too. I imagine they are more expensive than the sublingual.

    My last cat had several bouts of pancreatitis during her last year of life, which is very painful (at the end, she also had GI neoplasia). I used smaller doses of Buprenex for her chronic pain, increasing the dose (but not above what was prescribed by her vet) when she was in more pain. It was expensive, yes.

Share This Page