Atarax (hydroxyzine) is a veterinary medication used to treat some types of anxiety in animals. Hydroxyzine works by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Dopamine helps control behavior, mood, and attention span. When too much dopamine is present, it causes excessive excitement or euphoria. Too little dopamine can cause depression or lethargy.
Hydroxyzine is available over the counter (OTC). You may purchase at your veterinarian’s office or online pharmacy. Most veterinarians will prescribe it if they feel there isn’t enough evidence to support its use in humans.
There are no known side effects associated with taking hydroxyzine for dogs. However, there have been reports of allergic reactions when combined with other medications such as phenobarbital, which is commonly prescribed for euthanasia in dogs.
Apotex Pharmaceuticals manufactures Atarax. They manufacture hydroxyzine for dogs under several brand names including Atracet, Atralin, Amaryl, Apoqulin, and Avonex. Each of these brands contains different amounts of hydroxyzine.
The amount of hydroxyzine in each product varies depending on the manufacturer’s specifications. The dosage depends on the weight of the animal being treated.
The most common side effect of taking Atarax is drowsiness. This medication can also cause dry mouth and constipation when taken in large doses. If you notice these or any other side effects when taking this medication, you should seek medical attention immediately.
If you are allergic to hydroxyzine or any other ingredient in the medication you should seek immediate medical attention. If you experience any of the following symptoms an allergic reaction is possible: difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips or tongue, skin rash, hives, or anaphylactic shock.
If you are experiencing a severe allergic reaction seek medical attention immediately. Anaphylactic shock is considered a medical emergency. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include: rash, itching, swelling, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, or dizziness.
If you notice any of these symptoms seek medical attention immediately.
You should not give this medication to animals that are simultaneously taking MAO inhibitors or have taken them in the last two weeks. Do not take Atarax if you are currently taking a prescription for a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Atarax should only be taken when absolutely necessary, and should never be used for longer than two weeks.
Dogs react differently to the same medication. If you have a puppy or an older dog that is not acting normally, you may need to seek immediate medical attention if the problem persists. Do not give this medication to your dog if it is allergic to hydroxyzine or any of the ingredients in Atarax.
If you have any questions or doubts, consult a medical professional for further instruction, especially if your dog is taking other medications.
This article page was created via Creator , a SourceForge project. File last modified 2012-07-09 15:19:02.
Sources & references used in this article:
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- The ACVD task force on canine atopic dermatitis (XXI): antihistamine pharmacotherapy (DJ DeBoer, CE Griffin – Veterinary immunology and immunopathology, 2001 – Elsevier)
- Geriatric behavior problems (G Landsberg, W Ruehl – Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal …, 1997 – vetsmall.theclinics.com)
- Intercat aggression: restoring harmony in the home: a guide for practitioners (CL Pachel – Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice, 2014 – vetsmall.theclinics.com)