Use of Phenobarbital to Treat Seizures in Cats

by catfood

Phenobarbital is the medication that is most usually used to treat seizures and epilepsy in cats. It is an anticonvulsant barbiturate medication.

As an anticonvulsant, it is used to prevent recurrent seizures. The way phenobarbital works is by decreasing the activity of the brain’s seizure-causing neurons.

Because phenobarbital is a barbiturate, it is a controlled substance that needs to be acquired with a prescription from your pet’s veterinarian. But phenobarbital is commonly available and inexpensive.


Phenobarbital dose

The level of phenobarbital in your cat’s blood may also be easily determined, making it feasible to make sure that your pet is receiving the proper dosage of the drug. To make sure your pet is receiving the proper dosage of phenobarbital, it’s crucial to often monitor their blood levels.

You could notice that your cat is unsteady on its feet, uncoordinated, or acts a little tipsy when it first starts on phenobarbital. This effect is transient in nature and typically disappears when your cat adjusts to the phenobarbital dosage. If the side effects are severe, your veterinarian could urge you to temporarily lower the dosage.

Never skipping a dose is absolutely essential. If a medication is missed, your pet could develop a seizure. Try your best to maintain your regular schedule. Immediately administer the medication if you forget. If your next dose is approaching, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular regimen. Never administer two doses at once to the animal.


Potentially Negative Effects

Phenobarbital has some potential side effects, like many medications. Nevertheless, phenobarbital is typically a safe drug. Higher dosages than lower levels are more likely to cause serious side effects. Possible side effects include poor coordination, sleepiness, lethargic behavior, or restlessness. These side effects usually disappear a few weeks after starting to use phenobarbital.

Long-lasting symptoms include increased hunger, increased urine production, and increased thirst. To avoid obesity-causing weight gain, cats on phenobarbital should have their weight checked and be fed.

The less frequent but more serious potential side effect of phenobarbital is liver disease. periodically look for signs of liver damage in the blood of cats undergoing phenobarbital. Liver disease symptoms that you could observe at home include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and/or icterus (yellow coloration of the gums and skin). Call your veterinarian as soon as your dog displays these signs.


Dosage reduction for phenobarbital

Avoid abruptly terminating your cat’s phenobarbital treatment at any cost. Abrupt cessation can cause a hazardous seizure episode known as status epilepticus. In essence, status epilepticus is an unrestrained seizure. It will be a potentially lethal problem that needs to be handled right away by a veterinarian. If phenobarbital usage needs to be ended, it should be done gradually by reducing the dosage over a period of time.


If you suspect your pet is sick, contact your veterinarian straight away. When in doubt about your family pet’s health, always see your veterinarian. They have examined your pet, are aware of its medical history, and may be able to offer the best guidance for your pet.

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