NEC BIRMINGHAM |  11-12 MAY 2023

21 Dec 2021

Introduction to Transdermal Medications

Introduction to Transdermal Medications

Original article published by Amber Compounding Pharmacy:


Transdermal cream medications have a wide range of benefits when it comes to treating ailments and conditions in domestic pets.

Delivering medication through the skin avoids first-pass metabolism, gastrointestinal drug absorption issues, and has a steady infusion over a longer period. It can also be effective for owners struggling with compliance as the medication is applied onto furless areas of the pets’ skin.

Providing the option of transdermal medications for cats and dogs can be an advantage for your clinic. These are some of the most commonly requested transdermal creams.

Mirtazapine Transdermal Cream

Mirtazapine is an anti-depressant drug used to treat cats or dogs with loss of appetite, anorexia, nausea and vomiting.           

Literature: Significant improvement in appetite with 7.5 mg transdermal compared to transdermal placebo (Benson et al., 2016).

Tramadol Transdermal Cream

Tramadol transdermal cream is an opioid painkiller drug used to treat cats or dogs with acute trauma or injury, including surgery, and chronic pain, such as osteoarthritis and cancer.

Literature: Studies showed that as compared to oral bioavailability of tramadol, which is 60%, the mean total absorption with transdermal delivery is 100.4%. Transdermal delivery also demonstrated higher total absorption and steadier decline in rate of absorption. (Bassani et al., 2015)

Methimazole Transdermal Cream

Transdermal cream methimazole is used to treat an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) in cats.

Literature: Once-daily application of transdermal methimazole applied to the pinnae was as effective and safe as twice-daily oral carbimazole in the treatment of cats with hyperthyroidism. (Hill et al., 2011)

Other transdermal creams we compound include prednisolone, gabapentin, amitriptyline and chlorpheniramine.

How to Apply Transdermal Cream? 

step 1

Put on gloves before applying the cream


step 2

Gently push the prescribed amount of cream from the syringe onto your fingers.

Step 3

Thoroughly rub the cream into the front of your pet’s ear. Apply where there is the least amount of fur.

Step 4

Remove gloves and wash hands.


step 5

If a thin film of powder remains after the cream dries, wipe clean with a wet paper towel before the next application.

step 6

Store the cream at room temperature.




If you need any advice on veterinary transdermal medications, get in touch with our friendly team of specialist veterinary pharmacists today.


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