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Famciclovir for Feline Herpesvirus

If your cat has been diagnosed with feline herpesvirus (FHV-1), one of the drugs your veterinarian may prescribe to help treat the virus is famciclovir.

What Is Famciclovir?

Famciclovir is an antiviral medication that helps prevent FHV-1 from replicating.

Why Famciclovir Is Prescribed in Veterinary Medicine

Famciclovir is most often prescribed by veterinarians to help stop the replication of the feline herpesvirus and control signs/symptoms. These symptoms may be non-specific and vary in severity.

Dosage and Administration of Famciclovir

Famciclovir is available in a tablet formulation; other formulations require a compounding pharmacy to prepare the medication. It is best to give this medication on an empty stomach.

Dosing is commonly 250-500mg per dose twice daily for two weeks. If your pet is experiencing severe ocular symptoms, an antiviral eye drop may also be prescribed.

Special Precautions for Using Famciclovir

This medication should be used with caution in pets with known kidney insufficiency. Use for longer than 14 days may require additional bloodwork to monitor your pet’s ability to tolerate the medication.

Possible Side Effects of Famciclovir

Decreased appetite and increased thirst are the most common side-effects with this medication. If your pet appears lethargic or appears to strain when urinating be sure to contact your veterinarian.

Known Drug Interactions With Famciclovir

Before starting any new medication, make sure your veterinarian is aware of any other medications, vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies that your pet is already taking. Giving other medications with famciclovir may decrease its efficacy.

Proper Storage and Disposal of Famciclovir

Famciclovir should be stored at a controlled room temperature away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight. Do not store it in the freezer. If your veterinarian discontinues your pet’s use of enrofloxacin, the remaining medication should be disposed of in the trash. To dispose of this medication, remove it from its original container and mix it with an undesirable substance such as coffee grounds or cat litter. Put the medication in a sealable bag or container and dispose of in regular trash.