Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

FDA Approves First Drug for Overweight Dogs

U.S. health officials have approved the first obesity drug aimed at treating Americans' increasingly plump pooches, the Food and Drug Administration said on Friday.

The drug, Pfizer's Slentrol, helps decrease appetite and fat absorption to help the roughly 5% of U.S. dogs that are obese lose weight, the FDA said. Another 20% to 30% are overweight, it added.

Also known as dirlotapide, the drug can also cause various side effects, including vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea and lethargy.

"This is a welcome addition to animal therapies because dog obesity appears to be increasing," said Stephen Sundlof, head of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Like their human counterparts, overweight dogs are also at risk for developing diabetes, heart trouble, joint problems and other complications, the FDA said.

At the same time, two-thirds of Americans are also overweight or obese, government statistics show.

But Slentrol is not for human use and will carry warnings to discourage people from using it, the FDA said.

The drug will only be available through veterinarians, the FDA said, and will be given at various doses. Pfizer recommends use of Slentrol for three months, according to the agency.

Representatives for Pfizer could not be immediately reached for comment.

Contact U.S. News


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    Please choose a subscription

    Please enter a valid email address
    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.

Don't Miss

U.S. Video

  • Pro predicts dramatic slowdown

    Dissecting this week's market activity, with Jim LaCamp, UBS; David Seaburg, Cowen and Company; CNBC's Sara Eisen and Bob Pisani.

  • In good standing

    What are the warning signs that your finances aren┬┐t in good shape? Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson discusses the vital signs of financial and fiscal fitness and what you can do to stay on track.

  • Uncorked

    Sparkling wines are growing in popularity. Food & Wine Magazine Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle shows which bottles stand up to the taste test and won't break the bank.