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Dechra Introduces Zenalpha®(medetomidine and vatinoxan hydrochlorides injection) as Canine Sedative that Helps Minimize Cardiovascular Side Effects

by Animal Health2 | Jul 06, 2022

Zenalpha is an innovative, new alpha-2 combination drug that minimizes the stress surrounding  sedation in dogs while maximizing procedural efficiency. 

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (July 6, 2022) — Dechra introduces Zenalpha® (medetomidine and vatinoxan hydrochlorides injection), an innovative, new alpha-2  combination drug for use as a sedative and analgesic in dogs to facilitate clinical  examinations, clinical procedures and minor surgical procedures. 

Zenalpha carton & vial image“Veterinarians routinely utilize sedatives in their daily practice to ensure the safety and  comfort of their patients and the hospital team. Current canine sedatives carry some  concern for cardiac function while the patient is sedated,” said Nancy Zimmerman, DVM, Group Business Development Director at Dechra. “Zenalpha’s innovative  combination of medetomidine and vatinoxan addresses one of those key concerns  about patient safety during sedation by minimizing cardiovascular side effects.” 

The combination of the alpha-2 agonist medetomidine and vatinoxan, an alpha-2  antagonist acting in the periphery without crossing the blood brain barrier, results in a  unique balance of central and peripheral activity that offers less severe cardiovascular  side effects while maintaining the sedative and analgesic properties of medetomidine. Zenalpha is the first sedative to possess this unique combination of active  pharmaceutical ingredients and effects.

Zenalpha® (medetomidine and vatinoxan hydrochlorides injection) helps improve the  sedation monitoring experience for the veterinarian and staff due to its short time of  onset in 5–15 minutes after administration and short duration of sedation of approximately 45 minutes in most dogs (mean duration of 38 minutes). 

Zenalpha contains 0.5 mg/mL medetomidine hydrochloride and 10 mg/mL vatinoxan  hydrochloride; and when indicated, can be reversed with atipamezole hydrochloride. 

“Sedating dogs with Zenalpha results in less cardiovascular and respiratory depression  and fewer adverse events compared to dexmedetomidine,” Dr. Zimmerman said. “The  veterinary hospital team can spend less time waiting for the patient to become sedated  and recover, and more importantly to the pet owner, the dog can return home sooner.” 

Zenalpha can also help increase procedural efficiency due to its rapid onset and short  duration of action, and is effective in a broad range of procedures. The veterinary team can potentially perform more procedures per day in less time, or repurpose saved time  

for other tasks in the clinic. Due to the quick recovery time and less cardiovascular  depression, the use of reversal agents may not be needed, which can also save time  and may decrease costs. 

“Zenalpha is a great addition to our current market-leading surgical suite portfolio,” said  Mike Eldred, President of Dechra North America. “More importantly, we’re excited to provide yet another innovative product for veterinarians and their canine patients.” 

About Zenalpha 
For intramuscular (IM) injection in dogs only, Zenalpha is available in 10 mL multi-dose  glass vials. Zenalpha is sold and distributed by Dechra Veterinary Products, LLC, and  available through Dechra-approved distributors. For more information about Zenalpha or to  obtain a product insert, call Dechra’s 24-hour Veterinary Technical Support at (866) 933- 2472 or visit  


As with all drugs, side effects may occur. For use in dogs only. Not intended for use in cats.  Not for use in humans. Avoid skin, eye or mucosal contact. In case of accidental oral intake 

or self-injection, seek medical advice immediately and show the package insert to the  physician. DO NOT DRIVE as sedation, loss of consciousness, and changes in blood  pressure may occur. People with cardiovascular disease and pregnant women should  

exercise special caution to avoid exposure. Uterine contractions and decreased fetal blood  pressure may occur after accidental systemic exposure. Do not use Zenalpha in dogs with  cardiac disease, respiratory disorders, shock, severe debilitation, that have hypoglycemia or  are at risk of developing hypoglycemia, or are stressed due to extreme heat, cold or fatigue.  Zenalpha should not be administered in the presence of pre-existing hypotension, hypoxia or bradycardia. Due to the pronounced cardiovascular effects of alpha2-adrenoceptor  agonists, only clinically healthy dogs (American Society of Anesthesiologists [ASA] classes I  and II) should be administered Zenalpha. Dogs should be monitored frequently during  sedation for changes in heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and body temperature.  Tachycardia may occur in some dogs after recovery from sedation. The following adverse  reactions have been reported: diarrhea, muscle tremors and colitis. Refer to the prescribing  information for complete details. 

About Dechra 
Dechra Veterinary Products, located in Overland Park, Kansas, is the U.S. sales and  marketing division of Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC, a UK listed company dedicated to  the animal healthcare market. Dechra Veterinary Products’ companion animal portfolio  focuses on endocrinology, oncology, dermatology, ophthalmology, anesthesia, fluid therapy, pain management, joint health support, and dental care. 

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