Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I consider switching to Zimeta to treat fever in horses?
Zimeta is the first — and only — drug FDA-approved for control of pyrexia in horses. While other NSAIDs have been used off-label to treat fever, dipyrone, the active ingredient in Zimeta, has a centrally acting mechanism of action on the hypothalamus, where fever originates and is regulated.*
Zimeta provides rapid and effective fever control with a proven safety profile.1,2**
*Equine clinical relevance has not been determined
**When administered according to label directions
What types of fever has Zimeta been proven to control?
Fever is a clinical sign commonly associated with various underlying infectious and non-infectious diseases in the horse.
In clinical studies, Zimeta reduced fever in horses associated with underlying disease, including bacterial and viral respiratory infection, musculoskeletal infection, gastrointestinal infection, and immune-mediated disease.1 Zimeta can control fever resulting from infection or inflammation; however, it is not a cure for the underlying disease. Response varies from horse to horse.3
Can I use Zimeta in competitive horses?
Always check the governing organization’s rules and regulations prior to the use of any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Several organizations have provided guidance on the use of Zimeta and/or dipyrone, including the:
- United States Equestrian Federation (USEF)
- American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)
- Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)
Of the NSAIDs approved in the United States listed by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), dipyrone has the shortest established detection time in horses at 72 hours.4
Consult the governing bodies of other organizations for more details.
Can Zimeta be used with other medications?
Zimeta was used concomitantly with other therapies, including antibiotics and sedatives in a field study.2
Always consult your veterinarian before administering Zimeta. Concurrent administration of potentially nephrotoxic drugs should be carefully approached or avoided. As with any NSAID, concomitant use with other anti-inflammatory drugs, such as NSAIDs or corticosteroids, should be avoided. The influence of concomitant drugs that may inhibit the metabolism of Zimeta has not been evaluated. Drug compatibility should be monitored in patients requiring adjunctive therapy.
What is the benefit of an NSAID approved to be used more than once a day to control fever?
When used according to label directions, Zimeta was proven safe when administered once or twice daily at 12-hour intervals for up to 3 days.2 This gives veterinarians greater treatment flexibility than medications that can only be administered once daily.
What is the weight or age range of horses that Zimeta can be given to?
Zimeta is labeled for use in horses, and the indication does not have a restriction on age or weight. However, safety has not been established in horses less than 3 years of age or in breeding, pregnant, or lactating mares.2
Is Zimeta approved for use in other countries?
Zimeta is approved and available in the United States and Canada. Dipyrone — the active ingredient in Zimeta, also known as metamizole — is approved and widely used in many other countries.
Has dipyrone been FDA approved for veterinary use before?
Only one new product was approved by the FDA for horses in 2019: Zimeta. This was the first time dipyrone was FDA-approved for veterinary use in the United States.
Dipyrone was only previously approved in the United States for use in humans. It was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1977 due to reports of agranulocytosis in humans. The requirement to cease marketing of dipyrone in the U.S. companion animal veterinary market in 1995 was not due to its off-label use in horses. Off-label use in food animals became a concern due to the lack of safety, efficacy, pharmacokinetic information, and established withdrawal times. Thus, the product was no longer available in the United States.
Today, Zimeta is FDA-approved for use in horses only. Zimeta is not for use in humans. Keep this and all other drugs out of reach of children. Care should be taken to ensure that dipyrone is not accidentally injected into humans as studies have indicated that dipyrone can cause agranulocytosis in humans. As with all injectable drugs causing profound physiological effects, routine precautions should be employed by practitioners when handling and using loaded syringes to prevent accidental self-injection. Do not use in horses intended for human consumption or in any food producing animals, including lactating dairy animals, as this would result in adulteration of the edible products because there are no tolerances established for the drug or its metabolites. See product insert for complete safety information.
How much Zimeta should I administer?
Administer Zimeta by intravenous injection, once or twice daily, at 12 hour intervals, for up to three days, at a dosage of 30 mg/kg (13.6 mg/lb).
The overall number of doses and duration of treatment with Zimeta is dependent on the response observed (fever reduction) and guidance from your veterinarian. Zimeta may be re-administered based on recurrence of fever for up to 3 days.2 Zimeta can control fever resulting from infection or inflammation; however, it is not a cure for the underlying disease.3
What color should the liquid be in the Zimeta vial?
While the Zimeta package insert describes the product as a “clear sterile solution,” the product may appear to be clear (not cloudy) and light yellow to yellow in color.5
Is dipyrone available in other formulations?
Currently, Zimeta is the only FDA-approved dipyrone-based product and is available only in an intravenous formulation. If you have additional questions, contact our technical services team at (866) 683-0660.
Where can I buy Zimeta?
Zimeta is available by prescription. Licensed veterinarians may purchase Zimeta by contacting their preferred animal health distributor, their Dechra Representative, or by calling (866) 683-0660.
If you would like to report a suspected adverse reaction or product-related issue, please call Dechra’s 24-hour Veterinary Technical Support team at (866) 933-2472.