Hetastarch and Pentastarch products have been withdrawn from the market in the UK and similar action is expected throughout Europe following a risk assessment by the European Medicines Authority. This reflects an increased mortality associated with renal injury in human patients. No such large scale studies have been conducted in horses receiving these products, however routine assessment of renal function is advised when members are using these products in horses with colic or in foals.
This status is likely to remain until a manufacturer is able to define a group of patients where the benefits outweigh the risks.
While this action is likely to affect the whole of Europe, other regions are not pressing for a withdrawal and the FDA have recently issued a warning about its use, stopping short of a ban. As such members may be able to apply for a Special Treatment Certificate from the VMD to import this product.
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