Red Light, Green Light: Procedural Sedation

ArticleLast Updated November 20232 min readSponsored
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Many canine patients may require sedation for visits and/or diagnostic procedures for a variety of reasons; however, sedation carries risk (eg, cardiovascular compromise) and can have an unpredictable onset and duration of action. Zenalpha® (medetomidine and vatinoxan hydrochlorides injection) is a novel canine sedative with an innovative mechanism of action to minimize cardiovascular side effects while maximizing clinical team efficiency. The active ingredients in Zenalpha are medetomidine and vatinoxan hydrochlorides, which act as an alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonist and alpha-2 adrenoceptor peripheral antagonist, respectfully. This unique combination results in an optimal balance of sedation and analgesia while minimizing cardiovascular side effects such as bradycardia and hypotension.1 Although not a replacement for dexmedetomidine, Zenalpha is an excellent option to consider when fast, effective canine sedation is needed.


Zenalpha is for use in dogs only and is not approved for use in cats.


As with all drugs, side effects may occur. Zenalpha is for use in dogs only. Not intended for use in cats. Do not use Zenalpha in dogs with cardiac disease, respiratory disorders, shock, severe debilitation, that have hypoglycemia or are at risk of developing hypoglycemia, or are stressed due to extreme heat, cold or fatigue. Zenalpha should not be administered in the presence of pre-existing hypotension, hypoxia or bradycardia. Due to the pronounced cardiovascular effects of alpha2-adrenoceptor agonists, only clinically healthy dogs (American Society of Anesthesiologists [ASA] classes I and II) should be administered Zenalpha. Dogs should be monitored frequently during sedation for changes in heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and body temperature. Tachycardia may occur in some dogs after recovery from sedation.

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