Amitriptyline hydrochloride is a tricyclic antidepressant used to control various behavior problems in dogs and cats. It may also be used to control some types of pain as well as severe itching. Best results are achieved with most behavior drugs by simultaneous use of behavior modification training. Amitryptiline is available as an oral liquid or as tablets or capsules.
What is this drug?
- A tricyclic antidepressant used to control various behavior disorders and neuropathic pain and severe itching in dogs and cats
Reason for prescribing:
- Treat excessive grooming, separation anxiety or generalized anxiety in dogs
- Treat excessive grooming, urine spraying and anxiety in cats
- Prevent itching in dogs
- Treat neuropathic pain (chronic pain due to nerve injury)
- May decrease signs of urinary tract inflammation in cats
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
- Pets that have shown a prior sensitivity to other tricyclic drugs or like products before
- Pets that are presently using monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- Use with extreme caution in pets with a history of seizures, as the seizure threshold is lowered
- Use with caution in pets with thyroid disorders, liver disorders, KCS ('dry eye' syndrome), glaucoma, cardiac rhythm disorders, diabetes or adrenal tumors
- Pregnant pets
Give medication as directed by your veterinarian. Read and follow the label carefully.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. It is normally given once or twice a day.
Give this medication for as long as your veterinarian directs. Do not stop giving it suddenly as it must be tapered off slowly in order to prevent the animal suffering uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.
What if dose is missed?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
What results should I expect?
It may take several weeks before effects of the medication are noted.
What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
- Signs of the condition your pet has
- When will your pet need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
- Risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
- If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines (including tick collars) and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medicines can be given together.
- If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:
Keep in a cool, dry place at room temperature.
People should not take this product. Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
Potential side effects:
- Dogs: sedation, hyperexcitability, seizures, disorientation, faster heart rate, dry mouth (frequent licking of lips), bone marrow suppression, low platelet count (bruising), urine retention, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, or various endocrine effects
- Cats: sedation, drooling, urinary retention, anorexia, low platelet count (bruising), unkempt hair coat, vomiting, disorientation or faster heart rate
- Signs of an allergic reaction could include: facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma
- If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian
Can this drug be given with other drugs?
The following drugs can potentially interact with amitriptyline: amitraz, antithyroid drugs (medicine for overactive thyroid), barbiturates, cimetidine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, sedatives and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (Anipryl®).
Overdosing with tricyclics can be life threatening. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet eats more than the prescribed amount.
What else should I know?
This is just a summary of information about amitriptyline. If you have any questions or concerns about amitriptyline or the condition it was prescribed for, contact to your veterinarian.
As with all prescribed medicines, amitriptyline should only be given to the dog/cat for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed. It is important to periodically discuss your pet's response to amitriptyline at regular check ups. Your veterinarian will best determine if your pet is responding as expected and if your pet should continue receiving amitriptyline.