Petlearnia

Semintra

Semintra for cats

Formulation

Liquid

Active ingredient

Telmartisan

Category

Kidney / Blood Pressure

What is Semintra?

Semintra is an oral solution for cats with the active ingredient Telmisartan. It is an Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker (ARB), a type of drug which widens blood vessels. This reduces high blood pressure and slows the progression of chronic kidney disease in cats. Semintra is marketed by Boehringer Ingleheim.

What does Semintra do for cats?

Telmisartan, the active ingredient in Semintra, is known as an Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker. This means it specifically targets and blocks the action of Angiotensin II, a substance in the body that narrows blood vessels and increases blood pressure.

By blocking the effects of Angiotensin II, Semintra helps relax and widen the blood vessels. This effectively lowers blood pressure, which is particularly beneficial for cats with high blood pressure (hypertension). 

Semintra also has beneficial effects for cats with chronic kidney disease (CKD).  In cats with CKD, the blood pressure in the kidneys is abnormally high. This causes proteins to leak into the urine (proteinuria), which worsens CKD. By reducing hypertension and proteinuria, Semintra reduces further damage to the kidneys and slows the progression of CKD.

What is Semintra for?

Semintra is used for the following conditions in cats:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension): Commonly prescribed for cats with hypertension due to kidney disease, abnormally high thyroid levels (hyperthyroidism), heart disease etc
  • Protein in the urine (proteinuria): Semintra is also prescribed to reduce proteinuria associated with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) 

What are the Semintra side effects?

While generally well-tolerated, Semintra may have side effects, including:

  • Mild vomiting and diarrhoea: These usually happen in the first week or two and are often short-lived.
  • Change in appetite and weight: Some pets may experience a  loss of interest in food, leading to weight loss.
  • Weakness: Pets may have reduced activity if there is a marked drop in blood pressure.
  • Increased liver enzymes:  Elevated liver enzymes may indicate liver issues. However, this is a rare side effect and liver values usually normalise a few days after Semintra is stopped. 
  • Low red blood cell count (anaemia): Mild anaemia – a rare side effect- may occur in cats on Semintra.

Once your veterinarian starts your cat on Semintra, follow-up vet appointments and bloodwork are recommended to monitor your cat’s response to Semintra.
Remember, if you ever notice anything unusual about your cat after they start taking Semintra, even if it’s not on this list, always play it safe and give your vet a call. They’re there to help ensure your furry friend stays happy and healthy!

Vets have a duty to report suspected side effects of Semintra in cats to the VMD, who monitor pet drugs on the market. This feedback helps to keep Semintra safe for cats. By reporting possible Semintra effects to your vet, you’re helping this feedback mechanism work.

How to give Semintra safely

1. Follow vet instructions: Always use Semintra exactly as your vet has prescribed. This includes the right dose and frequency. Never adjust the dose on your own, even if your cat seems to be feeling better or worse. If you aren’t sure of the dose prescribed, please call your vet to confirm.

2. Administer into the mouth if possible: Semintra is best given without food, but it can be administered on a small amount of food if necessary. Do not mix Semintra into food. Consult your veterinarian if your cat refuses to take Semintra.

3. Shake the bottle: Semintra is an oral suspension, which means the medication is suspended in a solution. The telmisartan can settle to the bottom over time. You should shake the bottle before drawing up the dose to make sure the medication is evenly distributed. Not shaking the bottle can lead to under-dosing and over-dosing of Semintra.

4. Check with your vet if giving anything else: Your vet should be aware of other drugs your pet is on, but it’s always worth double-checking in case there’s been a miscommunication somewhere. If your cat is on supplements or non-prescription treatments you should also tell your vet when they prescribe Semintra, as they may not be suitable to be given together.

5. Storage and handling: Store Semintra according to the instructions on the packaging, usually in a cool (below 25°C) and dry place. Make sure it’s out of reach of children and other pets. Wash hands after use. Pregnant women should not handle Semintra, as similar drugs can harm foetuses. 

6. Report any accidental overdose to your vet immediately: If you have mistakenly given too much Semintra, report it to your vet as soon as you realise the error. They may recommend blood tests, intravenous fluids, or monitoring, depending on the severity of the overdose.

Semintra FAQs

How effective is Semintra for cats?

Studies show that Semintra is effective for cats. In a field study of cats mainly above 11 years old with kidney disease, Semintra lowered urine protein levels within the first seven days of starting treatment.

Another study was done on cats with high blood pressure and an average age of 13 years. After 28 days of treatment, the blood pressures of the cats on Semintra had improved compared to those on a placebo treatment.

Does Semintra make cats drowsy?

Semintra can make cats drowsy, as lethargy is a possible side effect of Semintra. If you notice your cat has become drowsy, you should contact your vet for advice.

Does Semintra need to be given with food?

Semintra is best given without food, but it can be given on a small amount of food if necessary. Semintra can be placed on top of a small amount of food if really needed, but should not be mixed into food – so do discuss this with your vet before you proceed.
Consult your vet if your cat refuses to take Semintra, as they may be able to prescribe an alternative option.

Is Semintra safe for cats?

Semintra is safe for most cats. However, pregnant or lactating cats should not be given Semintra. Furthermore, the safety of Semintra has not been evaluated in cats below 9 months old. As each cat’s health status is unique, your vet is the best person to determine whether your cat is a suitable candidate for Semintra.

Does telmisartan improve kidney function?

Telmisartan can improve protein loss into the urine (proteinuria), a common problem in cats with renal failure. By reducing the blood pressure in the kidneys, telmisartan stops protein being forced out of the body into the urine. Since proteinuria is associated with a poor prognosis, using telmisartan might improve longevity in cats with CKD.

For more information on treating CKD in cats, including Semintra, see our vet-written e-learning course CKD in Cats.

Can Semintra be used in dogs?

Semintra is not licensed for use in dogs. However, there are no telmisartan products for dogs available in the UK, so vets may use the ‘prescribing cascade’ to use Semintra in dogs if they think there will be a clinical benefit. Because there haven’t been lots of studies done to license Semintra in dogs, it’s hard to know what the side effects could be. It’s likely they’ll be similar to those in cats, but you should always report any possible Semintra side effects to your vet.

Are there Semintra alternatives?

The only other telmisartan product on the market in the UK is Telmitraxx, which is another brand name for telmisartan. Telmitraxx comes in a 4mg/ml concentration and is marketed for cats with CKD.

There are no tablet or injectable versions of telmisartan for cats currently, but you may be able to reduce your cat’s blood pressure with another combination of medications. Talk to your vet, who will be able to recommend an alternative medication if you’re struggling to give Semintra oral solution for cats for any reason.

Semintra Datasheet

All drugs have a manufacturer’s datasheet, which gives information about the drug’s use and possible side effects. There is usually one in your Semintra box, but if you have lost it you can click on the button below to be taken on an online version.

Courses related to Semintra