Dechra Introduces Zenalpha® (medetomidine and vatinoxan hydrochlorides injection)

Dechra Introduces Zenalpha® (medetomidine and vatinoxan hydrochlorides injection) as Canine Sedative that Helps Minimize Cardiovascular Side Effects

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Zenalpha is an innovative, new alpha-2 combination drug that minimizes the stress surrounding sedation in dogs while maximizing procedural efficiency.

Dechra introduces Zenalpha® (medetomidine and vatinoxan hydrochlorides injection), an innovative, new alpha-2 combination drug for use as a sedative and analgesic in dogs to facilitate clinical examinations, clinical procedures and minor surgical procedures.

“Veterinarians routinely utilize sedatives in their daily practice to ensure the safety and comfort of their patients and the hospital team. Current canine sedatives carry some concern for cardiac function while the patient is sedated,” said Nancy Zimmerman, DVM, Group Business Development Director at Dechra. “Zenalpha’s innovative combination of medetomidine and vatinoxan addresses one of those key concerns about patient safety during sedation by minimizing cardiovascular side effects.”

The combination of the alpha-2 agonist medetomidine and vatinoxan, an alpha-2 antagonist acting in the periphery without crossing the blood brain barrier, results in a unique balance of central and peripheral activity that offers less severe cardiovascular side effects while maintaining the sedative and analgesic properties of medetomidine. Zenalpha is the first sedative to possess this unique combination of active pharmaceutical ingredients and effects.

Zenalpha helps improve the sedation monitoring experience for the veterinarian and staff due to its short time of onset in 5–15 minutes after administration and short duration of sedation of approximately 45 minutes in most dogs (mean duration of 38 minutes).

Zenalpha contains 0.5 mg/mL medetomidine hydrochloride and 10 mg/mL vatinoxan hydrochloride; and when indicated, can be reversed with atipamezole hydrochloride.

“Sedating dogs with Zenalpha results in less cardiovascular and respiratory depression and fewer adverse events compared to dexmedetomidine,” Dr. Zimmerman said. “The veterinary hospital team can spend less time waiting for the patient to become sedated and recover, and more importantly to the pet owner, the dog can return home sooner.”

Zenalpha can also help increase procedural efficiency due to its rapid onset and short duration of action, and is effective in a broad range of procedures. The veterinary team can potentially perform more procedures per day in less time, or repurpose saved time for other tasks in the clinic. Due to the quick recovery time and less cardiovascular depression, the use of reversal agents may not be needed, which can also save time and may decrease costs.

“Zenalpha is a great addition to our current market-leading surgical suite portfolio,” said Mike Eldred, President of Dechra North America. “More importantly, we’re excited to provide yet another innovative product for veterinarians and their canine patients.”

About Zenalpha

For intramuscular (IM) injection in dogs only, Zenalpha is available in 10 mL multi-dose glass vials. Zenalpha is sold and distributed by Dechra Veterinary Products, LLC, and available through Dechra-approved distributors. For more information about Zenalpha or to obtain a product insert, call Dechra’s 24-hour Veterinary Technical Support at (866) 933-2472 or visit

As with all drugs, side effects may occur. For use in dogs only. Not intended for use in cats. Not for use in humans. Avoid skin, eye or mucosal contact. In case of accidental oral intake or self-injection, seek medical advice immediately and show the package insert to the physician. DO NOT DRIVE as sedation, loss of consciousness, and changes in blood pressure may occur. People with cardiovascular disease and pregnant women should exercise special caution to avoid exposure. Uterine contractions and decreased fetal blood pressure may occur after accidental systemic exposure. 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. The following adverse reactions have been reported: diarrhea, muscle tremors and colitis. Refer to the prescribing information for complete details.

About Dechra

Dechra Veterinary Products, located in Overland Park, Kansas, is the U.S. sales and marketing division of Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC, a UK listed company dedicated to the animal healthcare market. Dechra Veterinary Products’ companion animal portfolio focuses on endocrinology, oncology, dermatology, ophthalmology, anesthesia, fluid therapy, pain management, joint health support, and dental care.

Find more information at or call (866) 933-2472.
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Dechra is a registered trademark of Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC.
Zenalpha is a registered trademark of Dechra Limited; all rights reserved.

For questions or further information, please contact Mike Eldred or Doug Hubert:

Doug Stouffer, Marketing Manager, Dechra Veterinary Products,

Tammy Rice, Marketing Director, Dechra Veterinary Products,