General Description: Potassium bromide is an anticonvulsant prescribed to your dog to prevent future seizures. This dug is often used in combination with other anticonvulsants. To reduce stomach upset, give potassium bromide with a meal. Potassium bromide is available as tablets or as an oral solution.
What is this drug?
Potassium bromide is an anticonvulsant
Potassium bromide is given by mouth
Reasons for prescribing:
Used in the treatment of seizures in dogs and cats
Sometimes used in combination with other anti-seizure medications, such as phenobarbital
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
Use with caution in dogs with a history of pancreatitis
Some cats develop a severe asthma-like lung condition. For this reason, potassium bromide may not be a good choice for seizure control in cats.
Use with caution in pets with kidney disease, older animals and those with other health problems
Pregnant or nursing pets
Pets known to have had an allergic reaction to potassium bromide or like products before
For liquids, shake well before accurately measuring the dose.
Commonly when a dog is first prescribed potassium bromide, a higher or ‘loading’ dose is given for a short period of time to get the blood level up quickly. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully to achieve the best response to the therapy and to minimize side effects. Blood levels will stabilize in 3-4 months.
To reduce the incidence of stomach upset, give with food and elevate food bowls.
If capsules are given, ensure that the dog drinks or eats afterwards to ensure the capsule ‘goes down’. Capsules getting stuck partway can cause severe irritation and damage to the throat and esophagus.
Do not give your animal any salty treats (ex. pigs’ ears) and review any diet changes with your veterinarian. Salt does not need to be restricted, but carefully controlled.
Dogs usually receive this drug once daily for the rest of their life.
Do not stop giving this medication unless directed by your veterinarian.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. Give the medication at the same time daily.
Call ahead for refills.
Ensure your pet has fresh, clean drinking water at all times.
It is useful to your veterinarian for you to record and later report the date, time, severity, length and circumstances of any seizure your pet has while taking this medication.
What if dose is missed?
Missing a dose can cause a seizure. If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
When will your pet need to be rechecked
What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
Risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medicines can be given together.
If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:
Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
Pet owners allergic to potassium bromide should avoid handling this drug.
Potential side effects:
During the initial loading period, drowsiness or grogginess can be expected. If this effect is severe, lasts longer than 2-3 weeks or if the pet develops muscle pain, twitching, uneven pupils, or a behavior change, contact your veterinarian immediately. Do not give more potassium bromide to a groggy pet, even if the next dose is due
Excess thirst, drinking and urination
Giving potassium bromide with food should alleviate gastrointestinal irritation (nausea, vomiting)
Lack of appetite, rashes, diarrhea, constipation
Dogs may develop a cough (which resolves) when potassium bromide is discontinued
Bromide levels will need to be monitored periodically to ensure they are not too high
It is important to stop therapy and contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet has a medical problem or side effect from this product’s therapy
Can this drug be given with other drugs?
Yes, but possible interactions may occur with diuretics (ex. furosemide), halothane anesthesia or drugs that affect the nervous system (ex. tranquilizers).
If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian.
Overdoses are more likely from chronic overdosing than your pet consuming one large dose. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect an overdose (pet is exhibiting extreme drowsiness, stupor, tremors or muscle pain or other extreme symptoms).
What else should I know?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, potassium bromide should only be given to the dog/cat for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed. It is important to periodically discuss your pet’s response to potassium bromide at regular check ups.
This is just a summary of information about potassium bromide. If you have any questions or concerns about potassium bromide or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.