Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is becoming an increasingly common ingredient in oral joint supplements.
In veterinary medicine, ALA is commonly used to treat diabetic polyneuropathy, cataracts, glaucoma and ischemia-reperfusion injury due to its antioxidant properties.
The peak plasma time is 2-4 hours and it's well absorbed, has a high first pass effect and is extensively metabolized in the liver—an uncommon group of characteristics.
Cats are considered to be about 10 times as sensitive as dogs to overdoses. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center reports that in overdoses GI upset, hypoglycemia, ataxia, tremors, seizures and increased liver enzymes can be seen. There is also a potential for seeing ARF, but it has not been confirmed.
Decontamination, such as inducing emesis, may be of benefit if the exposure was recent and the pet is not severely symptomatic or already vomiting. Treatment is largely symptomatic and supportive: IV fluids, hepatoprotectants and dextrose.
Blood glucose, liver enzymes and kidney enzymes should all be monitored. Animals exhibiting severe hypoglycemia and seizures have a guarded prognosis.