Trilostane is an enzyme inhibiting medication. Its principal use is in the treatment of canine Cushing’s disease. In some cases, trilostane may also be an appropriate treatment for horses, cats and other conditions.

Veterinary Medicine — Dogs and Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease is most common in smaller dogs. Signs of Cushing’s syndrome may include increased appetite, thirst and urination, hair loss, bald patches and an enlarged abdomen. Without treatment, dogs can develop weak and calcified skin patches, hepatopathy and frail abdominal muscles.

Canine Cushing’s disease is caused by excess secretion of the adrenocorticotropic hormone, which elevates cortisol levels. Most dogs that develop Cushing’s disease have pituitary dependant hyperadrenocorticism (PDH). Those who do not have Cushing’s because of PDH have an adrenocortical tumor, which may be benign or malignant. Whether the result of an adrenal or pituitary tumor, Cushing’s disease interferes with biological mechanisms that normally function to regulate cortisol blood levels.

As of 2008, Trilostane is an FDA approved treatment for dogs with Cushing’s disease. Administering Trilostane can inhibit with the production of cortisol in the adrenal glands, adjusting the adreno-cortico hormone levels and preventing disease symptoms.

Trilostane can be administered in once-daily doses, or in smaller, more frequent doses to reduce the occurrence of side effects. It may take approximately four weeks for the drug to take effect and to notice a reduction of symptoms.

Trilostane — Other Uses in Veterinary Medicine

In addition to treatment for pituitary dependant hyperadrenocorticism, adrenocortical tumors and Cushing’s disease, Trilostane may be used to treat dogs with Alopecia X. Advancements in veterinary medicine have also led to substantial groundwork in the use of trilostane for treating horses with Cushing’s.

Additionally, while PDH in felines is rare, trilostane may be a chosen form of therapy. However, trilostane has revealed to be a less successful form of treatment for cats.

Trilostane — Drug Interactions and Potential Side Effects

Potential side effects include vomiting, reduced appetite, weight loss, diarrhea and tiredness. Rare instances of death have been reported. As each patient reacts differently to trilostane, arriving at the appropriate dosage is crucial in preventing instances of overdose and achieving the best possible outcome.