Active ingredient

Calcium carbonate + chitosan

Used for

Kidney support

Evidence Strength


What is Ipakitine?

Ipakitine is the brand name for a nutritional supplement containing calcium carbonate and chitosan. It is marketed as Epakitin in the US. Your vet will recommend this supplement alongside other treatments to support your pet with kidney disease (CKD). Ipakitine will not cure your pet’s CKD, but it will slow the progression of the condition and improve your pet’s quality of life. However, it shouldn’t be given to all cats with CKD, only those with certain side-effects.

How does Ipakitine work?

In pets with kidney problems, phosphorus is sometimes abnormally high. High phosphorus is responsible for some of the unpleasant symptoms we see in pets with CKD. The active ingredients in Ipakitine bind to phosphorus in the digestive system. This means less phosphorus is absorbed into the body, helping to manage high phosphorus levels in pets with CKD.

What is Ipakitine used for in dogs and cats?

Ipakitine is used to support kidney function in cats and dogs with CKD. By managing phosphorus levels, Ipakitine can take some of the pressure off your pet’s damaged kidneys, alleviate some of their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. Remember Ipakitine will not cure your pet’s CKD, but it may help to slow down the progression of the disease. The extent to which Ipakitine works for your pet may depend on how severe their CKD is, and if any other treatments are being given.

Ipakitine may help:

  • Lower blood phosphorus levels
  • Reduce CKD symptoms
  • Slow CKD progression
  • Improve quality of life
  • Increase life expectancy

How do you use Ipakitine?

Ipakitine comes as a powder that needs adding to food. You should be provided with a small scoop along with the Ipakitine. Based on your pet’s weight, you can work out how many scoops they will need each day. (Remember, pets with CKD can change weight quickly – pop them to the vets for a weight check if you aren’t sure). Measure out the amount of Ipakitine needed, then sprinkle it over your pet’s food, or mix it in.

Don’t forget, Ipakitine should only be used if your pet has high phosphorus in their blood and you’ve already tried to reduce it with renal diets. It should ideally be used alongside a special kidney diet, but you might also need to use it on normal cat food if they won’t eat the renal diet. Your vet will want to monitor the amount of phosphorus in your cat’s blood to see if they’re getting enough Ipakitine.

Is there evidence to support the use of Ipakitine?

  • Good

    There are several studies showing calcium carbonate and chitosan are effective at controlling high phosphorus levels

There is some good evidence to support the use of Ipakitine. As for many other drugs, research studies in animals are limited. Several studies suggest the use of products containing calcium carbonate and chitosan in pets with CKD is safe and effective at controlling high phosphorus levels. However, Ipakitine must be used as part of a comprehensive CKD treatment plan. Other treatment measures may include additional fluids, a special CKD diet, and other medications, such as drugs that can encourage your pet to eat (see mirtazapine) or lower their blood pressure.

Ipakitine FAQs

What is the function of Ipakitine?

Dogs and cats with kidney failure have poor kidney function, so less phosphorus is removed by the kidney in the urine, meaning that phosphorus builds up in the blood. The function of Ipakitine is to lower the level of phosphorus in your pet’s blood by binding to it in the gut and stopping it from being absorbed into the blood.

How do you give Ipakitine to cats?

Ipakitine comes in a powder and can be given to cats by sprinkling it over their food. This may be easier to do with wet food. The powder is meant to be tasty to pets, so they should enjoy eating it with their normal meal. If your cat doesn’t like the taste of Ipakitine, you may want to talk to your vet about other options.

Why is high phosphorus bad for pets with kidney disease?

A high level of phosphorus in the blood is bad for cats and dogs with CKD because it can result in another condition called secondary hyperparathyroidism and cause further kidney damage through the formation of stones.

What is the best phosphate binder for cats with kidney disease?

Products containing calcium-based binders (Ipakitine) are believed to be the best phosphate binders. Aluminium-based phosphate binders also work but there is a risk of aluminium toxicity with extended use. Chitosan is a naturally occurring substance that also acts as a phosphate binder and has less of a toxicity risk than aluminium-based products.

Does my pet need a prescription for Ipakitine?

Your pet will not need a prescription for Ipakitine, but you shouldn’t use it without a veterinary recommendation. Not all pets with CKD have high phosphorus, so Ipakitine should only be used if your pet’s phosphorus is high on a recent blood test and your vet agrees it should be reduced.

Your vet may recommend Ipakitine and suggest you buy it from the practice, but you will be able to buy this product online as well. It is best to buy from your vet or through an approved and licensed veterinarian pharmacy online. If you have any doubts over a product purchased online, get in touch with your vet before giving Ipakitine to your pet.

More information about Ipakitine

Has your pet got CKD?

If your pet has kidney problems, you might be researching Ipakitine to help them. There might be other things you can do to help your pet with kidney failure, too! Our vet-written course has all the information you need to understand your pet’s options after a CKD diagnosis. It’s evidence-based, regularly updated, and you’ll get access for the rest of your pet’s life.

Please note that the information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only. Although it has been written by a vet, we cannot consider the individual nature of your pet’s problems so it does not constitute veterinary advice. If you have questions about your pet’s medication or their health you should contact a vet, who will be able to help.