Disease and Illnesses of dogs – Epilepsy - Libromide
What is Libromide?
Libromide is a medication that is used to help control seizures. Libromide is manufactured by Dechra Veterinary Products and contains the active ingredient Potassium Bromide. Libromide comes as circular white tablets, containing 325mg of the active ingredient, which are given orally twice a day. It is available in pots of either 100 or 500 tablets and is a POM-V medication which means it can only be obtained from the vet who looks after your pet or with a prescription from them.
What is Libromide used for?
Libromide is used to help control seizures that are occurring due to epilepsy. It is specifically used in cases of epilepsy where the first line treatment, phenobarbitone, is not controlling the seizures. The Potassium Bromide in Libromide acts to stabilise the nervous system making seizures less likely to happen. It also works in conjunction with phenobarbitone to enhance its effects, again reducing the chance of seizures. The amount of Libromide required by each individual patient can vary greatly and regular monitoring is needed to make sure that the potassium bromide is in the “therapeutic range” meaning it is at a level in the blood that will be effective in reducing seizures.
- Libromide is given orally twice daily
- Libromide is rarely used alone but usually in conjunction with phenobarbitone
- The exact dose of Libromide needed will be decided by your vet
- Regular monitoring is required when animals are taking Libromide
- If you suspect an overdose of Libromide, contact your vet immediately
- Contact your vet for advice if you see side effects from Libromide.
- Libromide comes as a round, white tablet
- The dose of Libromide will initially be based on your pet’s weight
- Keep a diary of seizure activity in epileptic animals
- Wash your hands after handling Libromide and avoid contact with the eyes
- Store out of the reach of children
Side Effects of Libromide
- The side effects of Libromide are often dose dependant, worse at high doses
- The side effects will usually decrease when the dose is lowered
- The most common side effects of Libromide are lethargy and an unsteady gait
- Increased thirst and increased urination can also be seen
- Nausea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting, is seen less commonly
- If you see side effects, contact your vet for advice
- Do not stop the Libromide abruptly as this can cause further seizures
- Do not change the dose of Libromide without consulting your vet
Dosage and Administration of Libromide
- Libromide is available as round, white, scored tablets
- Each tablet contains 325mg of the active ingredient, Potassium bromide
- The dose of Libromide required will be determined by your vet
- The initial dose will be based on your pet’s weight
- The total daily dose of Libromide should be split and given twice daily
- Libromide is given orally
- Libromide is most often given in conjunction with phenobarbitone
- It can take several weeks for Libromide to reach effective levels
- Regular monitoring of pets taking Libromide is required
Further information about Libromide
Libromide is a drug which is used to help control seizures in epileptic animals. It comes as white tablets and each tablet contains 325mg of the active ingredient Potassium Bromide. Libromide is rarely given alone and is mainly used in epileptic animals in which the primary treatment, phenobarbitone (Epiphen), is not controlling the seizures well enough. Libromide shouldn’t really be started until animals have been on phenobarbitone for around 2 weeks as it can take that long to fully assess how well the phenobarbitone will control the seizures. The Potassium Bromide in Libromide alters the transport of substances across the membranes in the nervous system and helps to stabilise it, reducing the likelihood of seizures. This is known as reducing the seizure threshold. Libromide also helps to enhance the effect of the primary anti seizure drug, phenobarbitone.
The amount of Libromide absorbed into the blood from the tablet varies from animal to animal. As a result of this, regular blood tests need to be taken to check that the blood levels of Potassium bromide are at a level which is actually effective at controlling seizures. It can take several weeks for the Libromide to reach a constant level in the blood so these tests should ideally be run at 4, 8 and 12 weeks after starting treatment and repeated 3-4 weeks after any change in dose rate.
Libromide can have some side effects. The most common are lethargy and ataxia which means an unsteady gait. Nausea, sometimes with vomiting, can also be seen along with increased thirst and an associated increase in urination. These side effects are generally seen in animals that are on a high dose of Libromide and will usually reduce if the dose of Libromide is reduced. If you see any of these side effects after starting treatment with Libromide then contact your vet for advice. It is not advisable to stop the treatment suddenly as this may cause an increase in seizures.
Further information about Dosage and Administration
The initial dose of Libromide will be based upon your pet’s weight and will be determined by your vet. The recommended initial dose of Libromide when it is being given in conjunction with phenobarbitone is 30mg of Potassium bromide per kilogram bodyweight per day. This will reach therapeutic levels in most animals. The total daily dose should be split into two and given around 12 hours apart. Libromide comes as round, white tablets which are scored on one side. These are given orally and can be given with food or put directly into your dog’s mouth.
As mentioned above, your vet will take regular blood sample to check the level of the Potassium bromide in your pet’s bloodstream. If this level is too low then it won’t be controlling the seizures as well as it could be and your vet will increase the dose of Libromide. Conversely, if the level of Potassium bromide in the blood is too high, your pet may be at risk of signs of potassium bromide toxicity and your vet will reduce the dose of Libromide.
Signs of an overdose of Libromide are very similar to the signs of an adverse reaction mentioned above. These include lethargy, an unsteady gait, vomiting, increased thirst and increased urination. If you see any of these signs, especially after the dose of Libromide has been increased then contact your vet for advice.
If your pet is already taking diuretics such as frusemide, commonly used in heart disease, the potassium bromide levels may be altered so be sure to let your vet know if your pet is on any other medications.
Frequently asked questions
Q. What is Libromide?
A. Libromide is a drug which contains the active ingredient Potassium bromide.
Q. When is Libromide used?
A. Libromide is used to control seizures when phenobarbitone (Epiphen) is not providing adequate control.
Q. How is Libromide given?
A. Libromide is given orally as a round, white tablet.
Q. How often is Libromide given?
A. The total dose of Libromide is divided into two and given twice daily
Q. Will my pet have side effects from Libromide?
A. Side effects can be seen with Libromide but usually at high doses. These can include lethargy, vomiting and increased thirst. If you see these signs, contact your vet for advice.
Q. My dog is taking Libromide but has had two seizures today, should I give another dose?
A. No. If your pet is still seizuring then you should contact your vet straight away. Don’t alter the dose of medication without a consultation with your vet first
Q. My dog has got hold of the pot of Libromide and eaten several tablets, what should I do.
A. You may see signs of Potassium bromide toxicity such as lethargy, unsteady gait and vomiting but in the case of an overdose you should seek treatment from your vet as soon as possible.
Q. My dog hasn’t had a seizure for 6 months, can I reduce the dose of Libromide?
A. No, the Potassium bromide in Libromide must be maintained at a specific level to be effective. Don’t alter the dose unless advised to do so by your vet.