Analgesic Efficacy of an Oral Transmucosal Spray Formulation of Meloxicam, Alone or in Combination with Tramadol in Cats with Naturally Occurring Osteoarthritis
This study aimed to evaluate the analgesic efficacy of meloxicam spray alone or in combination with tramadol in cats with naturally occurring osteoarthritis.
Fifteen geriatric cats were included in a prospective randomised blinded study after approval by the local ethics committee. For 25 days, cats were orally administered placebo BID + meloxicam spray (~ 0.05 mg/kg SID) (MG: meloxicam group; n = 7), or tramadol (3 mg/kg BID) + meloxicam spray (TMG: tramadol-meloxicam group; n = 8). Evaluations performed at baseline (D0) and week 3 (W3) consisted of: 1) peak vertical force (PVF); 2) night-time motor activity (MA); 3) paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) with electronic von Frey; 4) response to mechanical temporal summation (RMTS). Data were analysed with a mixed model method and Fisher's exact test.
From D0 to W3: 1) PVF (% of body weight) increased significantly (p = 0.02) in both groups (no difference between groups); 2) MA increased in the MG (p = 0.02) but not in the TMG; 3) PWT (grams) was not different between groups or within time in both groups; 4) RMTS (number of stimuli) was not different in both groups. A large portion (5/7) reached the cut-off value in TMG, versus 1/7 in MG (p = 0.05). Gastrointestinal adverse-effects were self-limiting in 6 cats; 5/6 from TMG.
Treatment with meloxicam spray demonstrated similar effects based on PVF, MA, and PWT as has been previously observed with oral meloxicam in osteoarthritic cats (Guillot et al. 2013). The tramadol-meloxicam combination provided no evident benefit.