Phenobarbital For Cats
Phenobarbital For Cats - PhenobarbitalPhenobarbital is one of the most common anticonvulsant drugs used in the veterinary field today. It is frequently prescribed to treat canines and felines which are experiencing seizures. It is most commonly used as a lone therapy, but in cases where the medication isn't having the desired effect, it can be combined with other anticonvulsants like Zonisamide.Phenobarbital is highly effective as a remedy for epilepsy, because it reduces and stabilizes the neuron activity in the pet's brain. More importantly, Phenobarbital increases the action from the GABA neurotransmitter, thus improving its nerve-calming properties, while at exactly the same time reducing the action in the Glutamate neurotransmitter and thus reducing its nerve-stimulating properties. These actions can significantly decrease the amount of episodes that a pet experiences.Precautions and Side Effects of PhenobarbitalBecause Phenobarbital is so capable of decreasing the activity in the Glutamate neurotransmitter in the brain, it also has the potential to decrease the activity in different neurons. This will sometimes lead to lethargy and other undesirable side effects. Because of this, it's vital to monitor a pet very closely while they are being treated with this medicine.Most commonly, side effects (if the pet has any) are experienced in the first few weeks of starting the medication, or when the dosage is increased. These may include anxiety, depression, or agitation. In rarer cases, ataxia and sedation can also occur. In most cases, when the pet becomes acclimated to the medication, the side effects will diminish over time.Other possible side effects of Phenobarbital include polyuria, polydipsia, polyphagia, weight reduction, thrombocytopenia, changes in liver function, neutropenia, and anemia. Immune-mediated reactions and bone marrow hypoplasia may also occur, but these tend to be quite rare instances.Phenobarbital ConsiderationsThere are a number of instances in which Phenobarbital should be closely guarded. It needs to be administered with extreme caution in pets diagnosed with hypovolemia, kidney disease, anemia, and/or hypoadrenocorticism. Use of the medication should be avoided outright in pets with severe respiratory dysfunction, liver disease, or those with a known sensitivity to other anti-seizure medications.Phenobarbital can also negatively affect the effectiveness of other medications, such as certain anticoagulants, beta blockers, estrogen brokers, progestins, corticosteroids, and tricyclic antidepressants. Meanwhile, certain drugs can actually boost the effect of Phenobarbital. These include phenothiazine opiate agonists, CNS depressants, and antihistamines.The dose and method of administration for Phenobarbital should always be directed by your veterinarian, and their instructions should be explicitly followed. This medication is available in a variety of formulations, including oral pill and injectable versions.