Find out more about Alfaxan® and Alfaxan® Multidose

And how it works

Alfaxan® and Alfaxan® Multidose are formulated with the active ingredient alfaxalone in an aqueous solution with a pH of 6.5-7. Both products are registered for the induction and maintenance of anaesthesia in dogs and cats.

Alfaxalone is a neuroactive steroid molecule, with central effects. Despite being an analogue of progesterone, alfaxalone does not bind to sex hormone, glucocorticoid, or mineralocorticoid receptors69.


Can your induction agent do all of this?

Smooth induction53, 54

Stress-free recovery 48, 50, 51

Minimal, dose-dependent disruption to cardio-pulmonary function or vascular system parameters 50, 51

No pain on injection 1, 52

No tissue irritation if inadvertently given peri-vascularly49

Excellent muscle relaxation50, 51

Wide safety margin50, 51

Compatible with routine premedicant regimes42, 43, 53, 54

Can be used confidently on consecutive days45, 46, 47

Rapidly eliminated from the body47


Alfaxan® Multidose has a very wide safety margin.

Therapeutic index

Acute tolerance to overdose of Alfaxan® Multidose at 5 times the registered dose (i.e. 25 mg/kg) in cats and 10 times the registered dose (i.e. 20 mg/kg) in dogs was demonstrated where animals required only ventilation to allow recovery with no residual effect. 50, 51, 52

Repeated Dosing

Repeated overdosing with Alfaxan® Multidose – 5 times the registered dose every 48 hours over a six day period caused no adverse effects. 45, 46

Extra-vascular safety

Alfaxan® Multidose does not cause tissue irritation should accidental peri-vascular or subcutaneous injection occur. 49, 52


Alfaxan® Multidose is licensed for use in puppies and kittens from 12 weeks of age. 71


Alfaxan® Multidose can be used prior to canine caesarean section. 37, 71


Alfaxan® Multidose is approved for use in greyhounds, salukis, whippets etc.

Vets have experienced the benefits of Alfaxan’s safety margin and minimal impact on cardiorespiratory parameters in their canine and feline patients for many years. 26-36,37-39, 42-46, 48-51, 53, 54

How does Alfaxan work​

Alfaxalone induces anaesthesia through activity at the gamma amino butyric acid sub-type A receptor (GABAA) present on cells in the Central Nervous System (CNS). GABA is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS. Alfaxalone enhances the effects of GABA at the GABAA receptors resulting in opening of channels into the cells and an influx of chloride ions. This causes hyperpolarisation of the cells and inhibition of neural impulse transmission. 62, 68


Steroids were first recognised to have anaesthetic properties in the 1940s 66, 67. Numerous investigations and iterations of steroid molecular modification have occurred over time in the attempt to create useful formulations of neurosteroid molecules. 63, 64, 65

The first commercially manufactured formulation of neurosteroids was widely used through the 1970s and 1980s in both human and veterinary anaesthesia. Neurosteroid anaesthesia was recognised for its excellent anaesthetic properties and minimal effects on cardiovascular function. 60, 61

In the 1990s it was found that alfaxalone could be solubilised in aqueous solution by first complexing it to large sugar molecules known as cyclodextrins. 56, 57, 58