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Dechra Launches Innovation In Sedation For Dogs, Zenalpha

1 year ago

22nd January, 2023 14h26


Dechra has launched Zenalpha®, an innovative alpha-2 agonist and peripheral antagonist combination, which helps maintain the stability of critical physiological parameters1 and alleviate the stress of sedation in dogs.

With its rapid onset and recovery2, Zenalpha provides restraint, sedation and analgesia during non-invasive, non-painful or mildly painful procedures and examinations intended to last no more than 30 minutes2.  It is easily administered intramuscularly and takes effect within 5-15 minutes1, 2, allowing vets to start procedures quickly and optimise patient monitoring3.  Patients also recover more rapidly2, potentially avoiding hospitalisation and allowing them to get home sooner.

Zenalpha contains the active ingredients 0.5 mg/ml medetomidine hydrochloride and 10mg/ml vatinoxan hydrochloride.  Medetomidine is an alpha-2 agonist used and trusted for its sedative and analgesic properties and is the most widely used alpha-2 adrenoreceptor agonist in Europe, while vatinoxan is a peripherally selective alpha-2 antagonist.  Vatinoxan has limited penetration across the blood-brain barrier, so it works to antagonise only the alpha-2 receptors located in the periphery, reducing cardiovascular side effects without impacting the quality of sedation or analgesia.

In a study of 223 dogs1 comparing a traditional alpha-2 agonist with Zenalpha, Zenalpha was found to minimise cardiovascular side effects while preserving reliable sedation and analgesia.  It offers faster time to onset and a shorter duration of sedation with faster recovery in most dogs.  Moreover, Zenalpha maintained canine patients’ heart rate and blood pressure closer to normal and improved cardiac output.

Claire Westoby, brand manager at Dechra comments: ‘With an ever-growing range of products for anaesthesia and analgesia, we are delighted to add Zenalpha to our extensive portfolio. The next generation of alpha-2 agonists have evolved to provide the same effective and reliable sedation and analgesia, but with reduced cardiovascular side effects and a reduced chance of vomiting. This improves the sedation experience for the canine patient, as well as reducing the associated stress commonly experienced by veterinary teams and dog owners.”

Matt Gurney BVSc CertVA PgCertVBM DipECVAA FRCVS, RCVS and EBVS European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and hospital director at Anderson Moores, introduced Zenalpha to vets in his ‘Zennovation in sedation – the next generation of alpha-2 agonists’ sessions at the London Vet Show (LVS).  He adds: “It is really exciting to see the launch of an innovative new product, especially one with a unique mechanism of action that will improve the sedation experience for the vet team and our patients.  Zenalpha not only provides a solution to cases where IV placement is not possible and a rapid onset IM option is required, but it also offers a rapid and complete recovery which ensures that dogs can be reunited with their owners and return home as soon as possible.”

Zenalpha is presented in a 10 ml glass vial in individually packed cardboard boxes.  For further information on Zenalpha and to view a mode of action video visit or contact your local Dechra territory manager.  To view Matt Gurney’s ‘Zennovation in sedation – the next generation of alpha-2 agonists’ session from LVS go to


  1. Turunen H. and Zimmerman N. Safety of a medetomidine- vatinoxan combinationdrug (Zenalpha®) in dogs - a clinical field trial. Proc. IVECCS 2022, IVECCS, San Antonio, 7-11 September
  2. Zenalpha EU Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC). European Medicines Agency website. Available at: en.pdf. Accessed 29 June, 2022
  3. Niemann L, Kutter AP, Joerger FB, Wieser ML, Hartnack S, Steblaj B. The impact of vatinoxan on microcirculation after intramuscular co-administration with medetomidine in Beagle dogs: a blinded crossover study. Vet Anaesth Analg. 2022;49:336–343

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