Use Of Alprazolam By Vets

Discussion in 'Veterinary News' started by Admin, Jun 28, 2016.

By Admin on Jun 28, 2016 at 4:36 PM
  1. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

    Alprazolam is generally safe to use in companion animals; however, behavioral and medical side effects and adverse events can occur.

    • Common side effects associated with alprazolam administration include1
      • Ataxia
      • Diarrhea
      • Disinhibition
      • Increased appetite
      • Paradoxical excitement
      • Sedation
      • Vomiting
    • In animals, physiologic tolerance can occur and possibly lead to rebound and/or withdrawal signs when alprazolam is discontinued.2,3
      • Rebound effects may include recurrence of original signs for which the medication was chosen (eg, anxiety, phobia).
      • In humans, signs of withdrawal include seizures, irritability, anxiety, panic attacks, and tension.
    Patients presented for aggression should be closely monitored for irritability and worsening of aggressive signs.1

    • Use caution in patients receiving medications that impair or induce oxidative metabolism by the cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme,4 including
      • Antifungals (eg, ketoconazole, itraconazole)4
      • Certain antibiotics (eg, doxycycline)4
      • Certain anticonvulsants (eg, phenobarbital)4
    • Gradual decrease of alprazolam over 2 weeks is recommended for animals that have been treated daily for >14 days.2
    • Alprazolam treatment for aggression is controversial because of potential risk for disinhibition.
    • Certain nutraceuticals and natural substances (eg, St. John’s wort, valerian root) may decrease serum alprazolam levels by induction of CYP3A4 and increase CNS depression.
      • Administer these substances with caution in patients receiving alprazolam.4
    • Doses may need to be decreased in older patients or those with impaired hepatic or renal function.
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Discussion in 'Veterinary News' started by Admin, Jun 28, 2016.

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