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Old 08-26-2013, 10:25 AM
 
Location: PA (work in NJ)
6,243 posts, read 7,372,685 times
Reputation: 12075
Default Veterinary Clomipramine is impossible to get for my crazy dog!

My mentally ill dog Winnie can only function somewhat close to how a normal dogs functions when taking clomipramine 25 mg twice a day. Here's her story:
the continuing saga of a (seriously) psychotic dog


But there is apparently an industry-wide shortage of clomipramine now! I can't find any reason why this is happening. Clomipramine (for people) has been around since the 60s, so it's not a new drug. The brand name for people is Anafranil and for dogs, Clomicalm, but it's been available as a generic for many years.

I can't find any stories online to explain why there is a shortage. I'm getting desperate as the pill count gets lower. Does anyone know anything about this? I'm even considering answering one of those spam e-mails we all get, offering us prescription meds like Viagra from Canada.

My vet is checking his sources, and I'm checking the internet. Every pet Rx website has it listed as "out of stock." I wonder if you can buy it "on the street"--but I'd have no idea how to find such a street.

Help! I may have to keep my dog in a cage--or worse--this is horrible. Last month, we had to ration the pills until I found one bottle online, and when she was on one pill a day, she was completely out of control, barking at the walls and jumping in circles, snarling and growling.

Last edited by TracySam; 08-26-2013 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:04 AM
 
Location: midwest suburbia
5,798 posts, read 4,411,064 times
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Tracy, I don't have any answers. I vaguely remember hearing about this shortage a while ago, but I don't remember the details. I just wanted to send my support and positive thoughts. I know how much you've been through with your animal family, and how you've stuck by Winnie when so many wouldn't have. It's terrible to be helpless to get her what she needs now! I hope you can find a source somewhere, and I will definitely try to find out anything I can.

ETA, the problem is apparently with Novartis, the manufacturer. This is old, and vague but it has a little info.

http://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=24215
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:59 AM
 
Location: PA (work in NJ)
6,243 posts, read 7,372,685 times
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Yeah, I did read about Novartis shortages in 2012, but I figured clomipramine has been around so long, any drug company can make the generic. It's not like Novartis still holds a patent for it. Also, I don't understand how the 2012 issues could be coming up now. Ugh.

I was also wondering if there is a shortage of generic clomipramine for humans. My usual pharmacy, CVS, said no, and according to their computer, they can get it. My vet is calling it in to CVS, but they think CVS will run into a problem when they actually order it from their supplier. "Available" in the computer system doesn't always mean physically available (I ran into that with my birth control pills last year.)

My vet found one veterinary supplier that can get it, but for $1,000 a bottle!

Crossing my fingers.....
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:21 PM
 
4,511 posts, read 4,764,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
My mentally ill dog Winnie can only function somewhat close to how a normal dogs functions when taking clomipramine 25 mg twice a day. Here's her story:
the continuing saga of a (seriously) psychotic dog


But there is apparently an industry-wide shortage of clomipramine now! I can't find any reason why this is happening. Clomipramine (for people) has been around since the 60s, so it's not a new drug. The brand name for people is Anafranil and for dogs, Clomicalm, but it's been available as a generic for many years.

I can't find any stories online to explain why there is a shortage. I'm getting desperate as the pill count gets lower. Does anyone know anything about this? I'm even considering answering one of those spam e-mails we all get, offering us prescription meds like Viagra from Canada.

My vet is checking his sources, and I'm checking the internet. Every pet Rx website has it listed as "out of stock." I wonder if you can buy it "on the street"--but I'd have no idea how to find such a street.

Help! I may have to keep my dog in a cage--or worse--this is horrible. Last month, we had to ration the pills until I found one bottle online, and when she was on one pill a day, she was completely out of control, barking at the walls and jumping in circles, snarling and growling.
There have been "unexplained" drug shortages for a couple of years now. Dr. Richard Palmquist: Confronting Pet Drug Shortages

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/809913

Current Drug Shortages Index

Drug Shortages: New Ones Down, Old Ones Persist

Facebook re: dogs on it - on the shortage, because one manufacturer discontinued it; one comment says that humans aren't prescribed that drug as much now, but I don't know if it's true or not.

https://www.facebook.com/ReisnerVetB...73095756109656

The bigger government gets, the more bureaucracy and expense will interfere with the free market. If you know anyone in the medical devise or pharm industry they can tell you the enormous internal expense in releasing and maintaining these products. Politicians and voters are oblivious to the impact of big government's continuing law making and imposition of thousands and thousands of "new" regulations daily that cause more and more EXPENSE on companies. This is just the beginning, IMO. Just like the government took over college loans and the costs skyrocketed, took over home mortgages and look what happened to Fannie May etc. etc.

If it's available in Canada there's no reason why you shouldn't order it. And stock UP. Maybe post on a Canada forum for a recommendation.

Also don't forget to call vet schools with clinics like Cornell or Penn, grocery stores that have pharmacies like Publix in the south or some compounding pharmacies. They are usually small mom and pop stores.

IMO it's important people realize the consequences of their voting on every day life. So free birth control was the BIG TOPIC of the last election? Not to mention that'll have a shortage soon, I guess.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:05 PM
 
Location: PA (work in NJ)
6,243 posts, read 7,372,685 times
Reputation: 12075
Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post

The bigger government gets, the more bureaucracy and expense will interfere with the free market. If you know anyone in the medical devise or pharm industry they can tell you the enormous internal expense in releasing and maintaining these products. Politicians and voters are oblivious to the impact of big government's continuing law making and imposition of thousands and thousands of "new" regulations daily that cause more and more EXPENSE on companies. This is just the beginning, IMO. Just like the government took over college loans and the costs skyrocketed, took over home mortgages and look what happened to Fannie May etc. etc.

IMO it's important people realize the consequences of their voting on every day life. So free birth control was the BIG TOPIC of the last election? Not to mention that'll have a shortage soon, I guess.

Sounds like we share a lot of similar opinions on the above. I had a similar hypothesis about the root causes of this shortage, but decided this wasn't the forum to start that discussion. Whenever someone promises people free stuff, they need to realize they'll be paying for it in some way.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
2,227 posts, read 1,791,119 times
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Looks like Drs. Foster & Smith has the Clomicalm in stock - pricey compared to what I'd been paying for the generic at my local pharmacy for one of my old dogs but at least they do seem to have it.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:18 PM
 
4,511 posts, read 4,764,577 times
Reputation: 3802
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
Sounds like we share a lot of similar opinions on the above. I had a similar hypothesis about the root causes of this shortage, but decided this wasn't the forum to start that discussion. Whenever someone promises people free stuff, they need to realize they'll be paying for it in some way.
Yeah it's not the forum for it but I always think reminding people about things they can relate to may be worth trying.

Just like in my micro pet sitting business, occasionally people ask me to go an extra 10 miles roundtrip outside of my service area and want to pay less than my standard rate. Even if I say I'll make zero money on your job, I'm already paying 40% in taxes before expenses like insurance, car costs, and blocking that time would prevent me from taking TWO closer customers - you can see/hear their eyes glaze over.

Like I'm walking several miles a day for a hobby. And giving discounts so other people can go on vacations? No.

I hope you find something soon. What a frightening thing!
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:59 PM
 
1,940 posts, read 769,161 times
Reputation: 1105
Have you ever tried getting dog prescriptions through Costco? Just wondering if they would have more resources.
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: FL
1,064 posts, read 374,650 times
Reputation: 1256
Tracy has your vet considered trying a cocktail like we use on human psych patients? I don't know if it would work as well but I read your other posts and I understand the situation. I'm not familiar with psych meds use in dogs so can't suggest anything but know that sometimes we can't see the obvious - happens a lot at work. Pt comes in acting crazy and often the only problem is a UTI, but medical never thought to do a urine test because the pt was older and acting crazy. Or the pt who was catatonic that no one thought to do an EEG on.

My friend had a cat that was extremely aggressive and long story short changed vets. New vet thought the cat might have a seizure disorder, tried dilantin and while the cat didn't become super friendly she stopped attacking everyone who walked in the door. Just a thought, in case it hasn't been considered.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:20 PM
 
4,511 posts, read 4,764,577 times
Reputation: 3802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion2 View Post
Tracy has your vet considered trying a cocktail like we use on human psych patients? I don't know if it would work as well but I read your other posts and I understand the situation. I'm not familiar with psych meds use in dogs so can't suggest anything but know that sometimes we can't see the obvious - happens a lot at work. Pt comes in acting crazy and often the only problem is a UTI, but medical never thought to do a urine test because the pt was older and acting crazy. Or the pt who was catatonic that no one thought to do an EEG on.

My friend had a cat that was extremely aggressive and long story short changed vets. New vet thought the cat might have a seizure disorder, tried dilantin and while the cat didn't become super friendly she stopped attacking everyone who walked in the door. Just a thought, in case it hasn't been considered.
I was AMAZED to learn about this "phenomenon" especially with seniors and pts. with not even "severe" dementia. Until I saw it myself with my client. OMG. The UTI (and dehydration) took her to another REALM! You'd never know it was the same person.
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