Phenobarbital in epilepsy
Phenobarbital (or phenobarbital) is the most commonly used anti-epileptic. It can be given to the dog and cat. In 60 to 80% of the dogs, the drug is effective. Phenobarbital is sometimes combined with other epilepsy medications.
The drug can be given as a tablet or as an injection. After giving a tablet it takes 4 to 8 hours before the maximum concentration in the blood can be measured. Giving an injection in the muscles probably does not work faster than giving a tablet.
An injection into the bloodstream works faster (after about 30 minutes). With a faster effect, it is better to give diazepam or midazolam.
The effect is maximal after giving phenobarbital for 10 days. It can be given as the only medication or together with other epilepsy medications.
Dog: 2.5 mg to 3 mg / kg body weight twice a day
Cat: 1.5 mg to 2.5 mg / kg body weight twice a day
The dose can be increased every two weeks if the effect is insufficient. With prolonged use, the liver can break down phenobarbital faster. Adjustment of dosage is sometimes necessary.
We recommend that you have the dose checked with blood tests:
After 10 to 14 days a stable blood level has formed in the dog
With the cat this is after 16 days
The therapeutic blood level is between 20 and 40 µg / ml (measured 2 hours after taking the tablet or tablets). The first blood test takes place 2 weeks after starting the treatment. The second study after 3 months, and afterwards, we recommend that every half year be researched.
Possible side effects of phenobarbital
Drowsiness, drowsiness (complaints can decrease in a few days and even disappear after a few months)
Drink and pee a lot
An increase in appetite
Cats can get itching on the face
Do not even feed the dog, but make sure that the dog can drink unlimited water.
The veterinarian can find abnormalities in blood tests such as increased liver enzymes and impaired function of the bone marrow. The question is whether the liver is really damaged, or whether these blood tests are innocent.
Change epilepsy medication
Because of the side effects, other medications have been brought onto the market. Read more at Epitard and Pexion
After suddenly stopping phenobarbital, there is a risk that attacks will occur. If it is decided to stop taking phenobarbital, the medicine must therefore be gradually phased out.