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Desoxycorticosterone Pivalate (DOCP)

November / December 2018

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Desoxycorticosterone Pivalate (DOCP)

Mineralocorticoid (Systemic Drug)

Prescriber Highlights

  • Parenteral mineralocorticoid used to treat hypoadrenocorticism (ie, Addison’s disease)
  • Does not contain any glucocorticoid activity; a glucocorticoid must be used concurrently in the treatment of Addison’s disease
  • Adjust dosage based on monitoring parameters
Uses, Indications
  • Indicated for the parenteral treatment of adrenocortical insufficiency (ie, Addison’s disease) in dogs
  • Used extra-label for the same indication in cats
Contraindications, Precautions, Warnings
  • Contraindications
    • Patients with hypersensitivity to DOCP, congestive heart failure, severe renal disease, primary hepatic failure, or edema
  • Precautions
    • Some animals may be more or less sensitive to the drug’s effects; dosing without ongoing monitoring is inappropriate
    • Do not administer intravenously as acute collapse and shock may result
  • Warnings
    • Animals suffering from hypovolemia, prerenal azotemia, and inadequate tissue perfusion must be rehydrated with intravenous fluid therapy before starting DOCP
Side Effects
  • Possible irritation at the injection site
  • Depression, lethargy, vomiting, anorexia, polydipsia, polyuria, panting, diarrhea, facial and muzzle edema, urticaria, anaphylaxis, urinary tract infection, urinary incontinence, restlessness
  • Anemia following injection has been reported
Drug Interactions
  • Concurrent use with amphotericin B or potassium-depleting diuretics may result in hypokalemia
  • Potassium-sparing diuretics may counter the DOCP effects
  • May reduce salicylate levels when used with aspirin
  • Use in diabetic patients may result in increased insulin requirement
  • Serum electrolytes, BUN, creatinine
  • Body weight, physical examination, evidence of edema
Client Information
  • Most commonly injected into the muscle, but can be given subcutaneously
    • Must never be given intravenously
  • Shake the vial vigorously before drawing up into the syringe
  • Monitor for symptoms of the dose being too high (eg, increased thirst and urination, edema, weight gain) or too low (eg, lethargy, collapse, inappetence, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea)
Dosage Forms
  • Desoxycorticosterone pivalate injectable suspension:
    • 25 mg/ml

Compiled and summarized from Plumb’s® Veterinary Drugs by Shannon Palermo, VMD

Information about this drug was adapted from Plumb’s® Veterinary Drugs. Further details and more therapeutics can be found with a subscription at

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