(Potassium bromide, sodium bromide)
Common Drug Name
Potassium bromide and Sodium bromide
Common Brand Names
Potassium bromide is generally compounded into a usable form by a pharmacist.
Store at room temperature in a tight, light resistant, childproof container.
Potassium bromide is an anticonvulsant used in the treatment of seizures in dogs and cats. It is sometimes used in combination with other anti-seizure medications, such as phenobarbital.
Dose and Administration
Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. You may be directed to give very high doses for the first few days. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian.
Giving with food may decrease some side effects.
CAUTION: If using a capsule form, you must be sure it is completely swallowed by your pet. Give food or water to carry the capsule all the way to the stomach. The medication can cause severe irritation to the throat and esophagus if it gets “stuck.”
Blood tests are used to monitor the level of the drug in the blood. It may take several weeks for the level of the drug in the blood to stabilize after a dose change.
It is usually necessary to treat for the lifetime of the pet.
Record the date, time, severity, length, and circumstances of any seizure your pet has while taking potassium bromide, and provide this information to your veterinarian.
IMPORTANT: Do NOT miss a dose. Missing a dose could cause a seizure. If
you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give 2 doses at once.
This medication should only be given to the pet for whom it was prescribed.
Possible Side Effects
Side effects most often include transient sedation (drowsiness), when used with phenobarbital. This may last several weeks. May also see loss of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea. Other side effects include increased thirst, drinking, and urination.
Cats: In addition to the above, cats may develop a respiratory condition similar to asthma.
Dogs: In addition to the above, may also develop skin rashes.
Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of the above side effects.
When giving high doses, may see severe vomiting, muscle pain, twitching, staggering, an inability to use one or more limbs, or pupils of different sizes. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Bromide salts have been associated with the development of pancreatitis, with signs that include loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Not for use in animals hypersensitive (allergic) to it.
The safety of this drug in pregnant or lactating animals (female animals nursing their young) has not been determined. Use with extreme caution in these animals.
Use with caution in animals with kidney disease, older animals, and those with other health problems.
Consult with your veterinarian regarding the physical examinations and laboratory testing necessary prior to and during treatment with potassium bromide or sodium bromide.
Drug, Food and Test Interactions
Consult your veterinarian before using potassium bromide or sodium bromide with vitamins, supplements, diuretics (e.g., furosemide, Lasix), or drugs that affect the nervous system (e.g. sedatives), since interactions may occur.
Salt intake needs to remain steady since chloride levels in the blood can affect the levels of bromide. Do not restrict salt intake or give salty foods or treats (e.g., pig ears) while your pet is receiving potassium bromide. Contact your veterinarian before changing diets or types of treats.
Signs of Toxicity/Overdose
More likely seen from chronic overdosing than with a single large dose. Signs may include extreme sedation, incoordination, loss of appetite, vomiting, constipation, muscle pain or twitching, staggering, inability to use one or more limbs, decreased/slow reflexes, pupils of different sizes, tremors, and other central nervous system (CNS) symptoms. If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, or if you observe any of these signs in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.
This information may not cover all possible uses, directions, side effects, precautions, allergic reactions, drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.