Acepromazine

medicationWhy has my veterinarian prescribed this medicine?

Acepromazine is used as a sedative and a preanaesthetic agent. Acepromazine may also be used for behaviour modification and to prevent vomiting when travelling (motion sickness).

How does this medicine work?

Acepromazine decreases dopamine levels and depresses some portions of the reticular activating system in the brain. In addition to tranquilisation, acepromazine has multiple other important systemic effects including anti-cholinergic (A pet owner would not know what anti-cholinergic, anti-emetic or alpha-adrenergic means), anti-emetic, antispasmodic, antihistaminic, and alpha-adrenergic blocking properties.

How do I give this medication?

- Give this medication to your pet as directed by your veterinarian. READ THE LABEL CAREFULLY.

- If the medicine is a liquid, measure the dose with reasonable care. Acepromazine is not available as an oral liquid formulation in Australia.

- Try to give this medication at about the same time each day. If acepromazine is administered orally to young dogs to prevent travel sickness, it is recommended to be administer ½ - 1 hr prior to the patient traveling. It would not be prescribed for the patient to be medicated every day. 

- DO NOT give the pet more medicine than directed and DO NOT give more often than directed.

What do I do if I miss giving a dose?

Give the dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose, and continue with the regular schedule. Do not give the pet two doses at once.

How do I store this medicine?

Keep this medicine out of reach of children. Store this medicine in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Store away from heat and direct sunlight. Do not store this medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink or in damp places. The medicine may break down if exposed to heat or moisture.

Potential side effects

- Although a drug has potential side effects, it does not mean that there is necessarily a high risk of any of these occurring. Tell your veterinarian if you think your pet may be pregnant.

- The response of each animal to a particular dose of acepromazine is variable, particularly when the medicine is given by mouth as for prevention of travel sickness. Some animals may become drowsy, others excited. When administering acepromazine for the first time, do not leave your pet unattended with other animals or children. Depending on how your pet responds to the medicine, your veterinarian will advise you whether you need to change the dose to give for travel sickness.

- Your pet may become drowsy while taking this medication. Rarely, your pet’s blood pressure may decrease which may cause your pet to collapse. If this occurs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

- Other side effects may occur. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian.

Possible drug interactions

- Make sure to tell your veterinarian what other medication you are giving to your pet.
- Quite often your veterinarian may prescribe two different medications, and a drug interaction may be anticipated. In this case, your veterinarian may vary the dose and/or monitor your pet more closely.
- Drugs may interact such that they can cause an increased or decreased effect or side effects. Although drug interactions may occur, it does not mean that there is necessarily a high risk of any of these occurring.
- Contact your veterinarian if your pet experiences any unusual reactions when different medications are given together.

This client information sheet is based on material written by: Yolande Bishop, BVMS, BSc, LLB, MRCVS

© Copyright 2017 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.