General Description: Paroxetine is an SSRI antidepressant drug used to treat various behavioral issues in pets. Disorders that may respond to paroxetine include: fear of noises such as thunderstorms, separation anxiety, self-mutilation (ex. excessive licking, hair pulling, etc.) and aggression.
What is this drug?
Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant
Paroxetine is given by mouth
Reasons for prescribing:
To treat aggression, thunderstorm phobias, separation anxiety, plus various obsessive compulsive behaviors such as chewing and self-mutilation
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
Pets also receiving drugs known as MAO inhibitors
Use with caution in those with heart, liver or kidney disease
Pets with a history of seizures
Safety in breeding animals is unknown
Pets known to have had an allergic reaction to paroxetine or other SSRIs
Paroxetine will be administered in conjunction with a positive behavior modification program. It is essential to follow the training plan as well as administer the medication, to achieve therapy success.
Give this medication with or without food, although giving with food may lessen any stomach upset.
Give medication as directed by your veterinarian. This medication is usually givenonce a day .
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. Occasionally, your veterinarian may change the dose to achieve the best results.
Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.
Do not give your dog aged cheese or wear a tick collar while on paroxetine.
Do not abruptly discontinue this drug. It will be necessary to slowly taper the dose over time to reduce unpleasant side effects and ensure your pet’s behavior does not return.
Baseline and periodic blood testing may be necessary to assess the pet’s health and response to paroxetine.
What if dose is missed?
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. Do not remove the desiccant, if included.
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 paroxetine and/or other SSRIs should avoid handling this drug.
Potential side effects:
Commonly, dogs lose their appetite, and subsequently lose weight. Tempt your dog with better tasting foods or hand feed until this side effect wears off. Report continued lack of appetite to your veterinarian.
Lethargy, drowsiness, upset stomach, anxiety, shaking, restlessness, panting, irritability, insomnia and hyperactivity
Some dogs lose their inhibitions while medicated and become aggressive
If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian
Can this drug be given with other drugs?
Yes, but possible interactions may occur with buspirone, cimetidine, diazepam, digoxin, encainide, flecainide, haloperidol, lithium, l-tryptophan, perphenazine, phenylbutazone, phenothiazines, propafenone, thioridazine and warfarin.
Paroxetine should not be used within 2-5 weeks of administering MAOIs (ex. amitraz, deprenyl, isoniazid, selegiline) or tricyclic antidepressants (ex. amitriptylline, clomipramine, imipramine)
Paroxetine should not be given with drugs that could increase the likelihood of seizures (ex. acepromazine, cloropromazine)
If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet consumes more than the prescribed amount.
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, paroxetine 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.
This is just a summary of information about paroxetine. If you have any questions or concerns about paroxetine or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.