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Pet Medication 101: Alprazolam

Pet medication alprazolam

It’s important to understand a medication’s uses and side effects before giving it to your pet. This medication info sheet is meant to give you a good understanding of what Xanax (alprazolam) is used for, how it works, and potential side effects in cats and dogs. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your pet any medication.

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1. Drug Name:

alprazolam

2. Common Names or Brand Names:

Xanax, Niravam, Alprazolam Intensol

3. How Dispensed:

Prescription-only

4. Forms:

0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1mg, 2mg, and 3mg tablets; oral suspension

5. Drug Type/Class:

Benzodiazepine

6. Uses for Cats and Dogs:

Used off-label in pets to treat anxiety, panic disorders, or phobias (noise/storm phobias, etc.). Also used to treat inappropriate urination in cats. Sometimes used to complement seizure control medications when a pet’s seizures are not well-controlled on a single medication.

7. How it works:

As a benzodiazepine tranquilizer, alprazolam depresses activity in various areas of the brain. The exact mechanism of sedation and anti-anxiety action is not fully understood.

8. Side Effects and/or Signs of Overdose:

Heavy sedation, increased appetite, ataxia/abnormal walking (dogs). Increased affection, depression, odd behavior (cats).

9. Drug Interactions:

CNS depressants, fluoxetine, non-depolarizing neuromuscular blockers, theophylline, tricyclic antidepressants, cimetidine/Tagamet, itraconazole, propranolol.

10. Cautionary Statements:

Use caution with liver and kidney disease or in debilitated patients

Read more:

Noise Anxiety in Cats and Dogs

Tips for Helping Your Dog with Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety in Cats

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Click here to schedule a video consult to speak to one of our vets. You can also download the FirstVet app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores.

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