Monensin in poultry

Anticoccidials | Monensin For Poultry


Monensin (C36H61O11Na) is the biologically active compound that belongs to the polyether carboxylic Ionophores or ion carrier group of antibiotics. Monensin classified as sodium ion bearer in Ionophores groups. It is produced by fermentation of Streptomyces cinnamonensis. Its preferably transport sodium ion in the cells. Monensin used as coccidiostat for poultry in world wide.

Its composed of the analoques A, B, C & D. Monensin A is the major components (equivalent to 98%).

Monensin is the first Ionophores which used in commercial poultry production after the FDA approval in 1971.

Poutlry diseases, 13th sedition (protozoal infection 1159)

Mode of action

Monensin is the bearer of sodium Ion (Na+)  attach lipid complex of sporozoites causes increase sodium Ion (Na+) & stimulation of Sodium –potassium (Na+-K+) ATPASE that pump excess Na+ out of sporozoite. Excess sodium ion (Na+) causes water to enter by osmosis thereby parasites swells & eventually burst.


Monensin has anticoccidial, antifungal, & antibacterial properties. Monensin now considered as anticancerus agents in deferent’s tumor forming disease. Its inhibit colon cancer cells by inducing cell cycle arrest & apotosis. Monensin suppressed colorectal tumor growth in nomalignant intestinal mucosa.

Endogenous stages affected of Emeria spp

Its acts on extracellular stages of coccidian parasites e.g sporozoites, motile merozoites, tropozoites & schizony.  Monensin does not acts on  intracellulerly macro& micrpgamates of sexaull stages of parasites but in higher doses show limited intracellular activity.


Monensin predominantly used as feed coccidiostst for the prevention & control of coccidiosis in poultry.Its act as a growth promoters, increased feed efficiency, increased weight gain & fattening purpose for poultry.


Standard dose range of monensin is between 70 mg-125 mg/kg (70-125ppm)..Safety margin of Monensin upto 180 mg/kg where feed intake may depressed in chicken.

For taurkey monensin required@ 60-99 mg/kg

For Bobwhite quail  80-82 mg/kg Monensin @125mg/kg can destruct in all types extracellular & intracellular Emeria spp. If its given @175 mg/kg or more was required to adversely affect feathering,


Slight over dose may cause transient paralysis, ataxia, recumbency, reduced feed intake, permanent paralysis & mortality may occur in overdoses in poultry.

Tiamulin Incompatibilty

Tiamulin reduced metabolism and excretion of monensin in poultry that  led to an overdosing effect. General toxics signs include loss of appetite, leg weakness, lateral recumbencylocomotor disturbances, ataxia, and neurotoxicity were seen after administration of monensin alone at high levels or in combination with tiamulin at standard usage levels.

Dietary Incompatibility

Monensisn can depress growth that is exacerbated by low protein diets. Its exert less effective in wheat based diets than maize based diets due to maize contain higher concentration of vitamin A & D that plays as higher protective effects & less niacin & riboflavin than wheat.

Metabolism & Absorption

Monensin when administered orally by feed  is absorbed, metabolized, excreted in bile, and eliminated in the feces.

Effect in poultry

Monensin  is interact with methionine to reduce feather growth particularly where sulfur-containing amino acids are borderline or deficient. but this relationship is not clear. Monensin promoted development of necrotic enteritis by slowing intestinal motility in poultry

Withdrawal period

No withdrawal period is required.  In Bioautoghrapic study show that medication with 121 mg/kg body weight  of monensin in the feed of chickens, indicated that at zero days/time withdrawal fat contained approximately 0.1 mg/kg, whereas no detectable residues were present in liver, kidney, or muscle in poultry


Monensin is highly toxic to horses . The lethal dose 50% (LD50) for monensin in horses is about 2mg/kg body weight. High concentrations of monensin have toxic effects upon the cardiovascular system of chickens and  monensin toxicity may result in mortality of up to 2-5% in broiler flocks caused by pulmonary hypertension (ascites) in poultry.

Why monensin unique Ionophores in last 50 years?

Monensin is the unique ionophores that has capability inhibits reproduction of Emeria tanella (less capability of others Ionophores) extraellularly & protect from 01-45 days.

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