ArticleLast Updated January 20182 min read
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Inodilator (Systemic Drug)

Prescriber Highlights

  • Oral drug used to treat congestive heart failure (CHF) in dogs

  • Has been demonstrated to prolong the time to onset of CHF or cardiac-related death in dogs with stage B2 myxomatous mitral valve disease

Uses, Indications

  • Used primarily in dogs with CHF secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy or chronic mitral valve insufficiency 

  • Studies have shown pimobendan can improve survival times and quality of life compared with standard treatment (ie, an ACE inhibitor and furosemide)

  • Limited evidence exists for use in cats with restrictive and dilated cardiomyopathy

Contraindications, Precautions, Warnings

  • Contraindications

Patients hypersensitive to pimobendan and those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, aortic stenosis, or any other condition in which an augmentation of cardiac output is inappropriate for functional or anatomic reasons

  • Precautions

Patients with uncontrolled cardiac arrhythmias 

  • Warnings

Pimobendan use has not been evaluated in dogs younger than 6 months of age, dogs used for breeding, pregnant or lactating bitches, and dogs with congenital heart defects, diabetes mellitus, or other serious metabolic diseases

Side Effects

  • GI upset

  • Potential increased risk for arrhythmias

Drug Interactions

  • Simultaneous use with calcium antagonists (eg, verapamil, diltiazem) and β antagonists (eg, propranolol, atenolol) can lessen pimobendan-induced increases in heart contractility


  • Cardiovascular parameters, including ECG, blood pressure, echo studies, and clinical signs, should be used to monitor heart function

Client Information

  • Best given on an empty stomach

  • Most likely side effects are GI-related

Dosage Forms

  • The following product is labeled for veterinary use

  • Pimobendan chewable tablets: 1.25 mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg

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 plumbsveterinarydrugs.com