Melarsomine dihydrochloride (Immiticide Sterile Powder) is an organic compound containing arsenic. Arsenic compounds have been widely used in veterinary medicine, but have been replaced for the most part by antibiotics, which are less toxic and equally effective. Some of the arsenicals are still used for infectious diseases, especially those caused by protozoa and skin disorders. 6
The drug is administered as intramuscular injection.
Melarsomine dihydrochloride is used for the treatment of stabilized, class 1, 2, and 3 heartworm disease (asymptomatic to mild, moderate, and severe, respectively) caused by immature (4 month-old, stage L5) to mature adult infections of Dirofilaria immitis in dogs.
Several agents are available for the prevention of heartworm infection. Melarsomine is up to 96% efficacious (after two doses) as a heartworm adulticide in infected dogs. However, treatment of dogs infected with D. immitis can be expensive, and adulticide therapy in patients with moderate to severe heartworm disease can be associated with life-threatening complications. 6
Common adverse reactions include injection site irritation and reluctance to move.
The drug is contraindicated in dogs with class 4 (very severe) heartworm disease (Caval Syndrome). Not for use in breeding animals and lactating or pregnant bitches. 2
Veterinary Antiparasitic Drugs
REF FILE 324-DAC