Bromides (Potassium Bromide, Sodium Bromide)

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Overview

  • A seizure is a convulsion or physical manifestation of abnormal brain electrical activity. A partial seizure involves only a portion of the body whereas a generalized (grand mal) seizure involves the entire body. Many dogs are affected with chronic seizures and treatment is needed to control these events.
  • Bromide belongs to a general class of drugs known as anticonvulsants. Other related drugs in this class include diazepam and phenobarbital.
  • Typically, the chemical bromide is combined with either the potassium or sodium ion to create the drug potassium bromide or sodium bromide. Potassium bromide is commonly abbreviated as KBr. 
  • Bromide will depress the excitability of nerves within the brain and results in reducing seizures.
  • Bromide can be used alone or can be combined with another seizure control drug called phenobarbital to control seizures.
  • Bromide is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.
  • Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is not registered for use in humans or animals. It must be compounded by a pharmacist.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: None
  • Uses of Bromide

  • Bromides are used to treat seizure disorders in dogs as either monotherapy (single drug) or combination therapy with other anticonvulsant drugs.
  • Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, bromide can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Bromide should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Bromides should be used with caution in older animals and animals with kidney impairment.
  • Bromides should not be given to cats.
  • Bromide may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with bromide. Such drugs include certain diuretics.
  • One of the most common side effects of bromide is sedation, which is typically transient but can last up to three weeks. Nausea, vomiting and lack of appetite are also common side effects.  
  • In cases of significant overdose, stumbling, tremors and profound sedation has been reported.
  • How Bromide Is Supplied

  • Bromide is concentrated at specific doses based on your veterinarian's prescription. The drug often must be compounded by special pharmacies.
  • Bromide is available in capsule or liquid forms.
  • Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • Initially, bromide is started at 15 to 20 mg per pound (30 to 40 mg/kg) daily.
  • Increases in dose may be required to control seizures.
  • Bromides are often compounded in to capsules or liquids. Some veterinarians prefer the liquid formulation, as it allows for easier titration if more or less of the drug is required.
  • Dividing the daily dose to every 12 hours and mixing with food can minimize side effects such as nausea or vomiting. 
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or prevent the development of resistance.
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