Potassium Bromide

  • Common Uses: Controlling Seizures
  • Species: Dogs
  • Therapeutic Class: Antiepileptic

General Drug Information and Indications:

Potassium bromide is an antiepileptic drug used primarily in dogs to control seizures that are not sufficiently managed by phenobarbital, or for dogs that cannot tolerate phenobarbital. It functions by reducing seizure activity in the central nervous system. Its efficacy can take up to four months to reach optimal levels, and it is often initiated with a higher "loading dose" to hasten effectiveness, though this increases the risk of side effects.

Veterinary Medicine Uses:

Potassium bromide is crucial for managing epilepsy in dogs, requiring ongoing commitment from the owner, including regular monitoring of blood levels to tailor dosages accurately. It's generally prescribed when phenobarbital is ineffective or contraindicated due to liver issues.

How to Give This Medication:

  • Administer as directed by your veterinarian, ideally with food to reduce gastrointestinal irritation.
  • Maintain consistent salt intake in your dog's diet to avoid bromide toxicity.
  • Wash hands after administering to avoid skin contact with the drug.

Side Effects:

  • Initial therapy, especially with loading doses, may cause profound sedation.
  • Gastrointestinal irritation, increased thirst and urination, pancreatitis, and constipation are possible.
  • Older dogs may experience more frequent or severe side effects.


  • Use cautiously in animals with compromised kidney function.
  • Potassium bromide should be used during pregnancy only when clearly needed.
  • Store the drug as per prescription label instructions.

Drug Interactions:

  • Diuretics like furosemide can increase the excretion of potassium bromide.
  • Concurrent use with other sedatives may increase sedation.

Overdose and Toxicity Management:

  • Chronic overdose symptoms include sedation, muscle pain, CNS disturbances, and tremors.
  • In cases of suspected overdose, contact veterinary services or the Animal Poison Control Center immediately.