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Anti-Convulsant Medications

Learn more about phenobarbital and other anti-seizure medications


Phenobarbital is the medication that is most commonly used to treat seizures and epilepsy in dogs and cats. There are other medications for canine and feline seizures too. Learn more about traditional and newer seizure control medications.

1. Phenobarbital

Phenobarbital is a barbiturate medication that acts as an anticonvulsant by decreasing the activity in the brain cells (neurons) that cause the seizures to occur.

2. Diazepam (Valium®)

Diazepam (Valium®) has many uses in both the dog and cat and is a commonly used medication. Diazepam is effective as an anti-anxiety medication, a muscle relaxant, an appetite stimulant, and as a medication to control seizure activity.

3. Potassium Bromide (KBr)

Potassium bromide (KBr) is one of the traditional anticonvulsants used to treat canine and feline epilepsy. It is frequently used together with phenobarbital but may be used by itself to control seizure activity as well.

4. Felbamate

Felbamate is a relatively new anticonvulsant medication that is being used to treat seizures and epilepsy in dogs. Felbamate can be used together with phenobarbital and/or potassium bromide without causing additional sedation.

5. Zonisamide

Zonisamide is an anticonvulsant medication that is unrelated to other anticonvulsants routinely used in dogs and cats. Zonisamide can be used together with phenobarbital and/or potassium bromide for treating seizures.

6. Gabapentin

Gabapentin is used in both dogs and cats. It has two different functions; to relieve pain and to control seizure activity. Gabapentin may be used to treat refractory seizures in dogs and cats that have not responded favorably to other types of medications.

7. Levetiracetam (Keppra®)

Levetiracetam can be used for treating seizures in dogs and cats. It can be used solely as an anticonvulsant medication. It can also be used in conjunction with phenobarbital and/or potassium bromide.

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