Ipecac for Dogs and Cats
Overview of Ipecac for Canines and Felines
Ipecac, commonly called syrup of ipecac, is an over-the-counter medication used to induce vomiting for dogs and cats.
- Ipecac is derived from the roots of certain plants. It belongs to a class of drugs known as emetics. Similar drugs include apomorphine.
- Ipecac acts by irritating the stomach lining and stimulating the impulse to vomit. Vomiting will generally occur within 30 minutes of administration.
- Ipecac is available over the counter but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of 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 of Ipecac
- This drug is registered for use in humans only.
- Human formulations: Ipecac is supplied by numerous drug companies with a variety of trade names and various generic preparations
- Veterinary formulations: None
Uses of Ipecac for Dogs and Cats
- The sole purpose of ipecac is to induce vomiting.
- Ipecac is primarily used to induce vomiting after ingestion of a toxic substance or a foreign object.
Precautions and Side Effects
- While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, ipecac can cause side effects in some animals.
- Ipecac should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
- Ipecac should be avoided in animals with heart disease or breathing difficulty. It should also be avoided in an animal that is minimally responsive, convulsing or comatose.
- If an animal has already been vomiting, ipecac should not be used.
- Do not use ipecac to evacuate corrosive ingestions or toxins that can lead to aspiration pneumonia.
- When used properly and vomiting occurs, there are little adverse effects associated with ipecac.
- If vomiting does not occur, there is a potential for serious heart toxicity. For this reason, other emetics may be recommended.
How Ipecac Is Supplied
- Ipecac is available in a 15 ml or 30 ml syrup.
Dosing Information of Ipecac for Dogs and Cats
- Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
- To induce vomiting, 0.5 to 1 ml per pound (1 to 2 ml/kg) is recommended.
- If no vomiting occurs, a second dose can be administered.
- If there is still no vomiting, examination and treatment by your veterinarian is recommended.