An anxious, stressed out dog or cat is distressing for any pet owner. Anxiety may come from depression or separation anxiety, or could also be due to the occurrence of unexpected, loud noises. Regardless of the cause, such disturbances can result in behavioral problems, such as inappropriate urination, spraying, obsessive grooming, excessive scratching, and other self-destructive actions. Worse, pets may become aggressive towards their owners, or they might even hurt themselves.
Amitriptyline is a prescription antidepressant that helps modify such behavioral problems and also lessens anxiety. The medication alters the brain's chemicals, adjusting and balancing the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine.
Amitriptyline for pets is essentially the same medication that is prescribed for humans, albeit in smaller dosages. As with any prescription medication, it's best to consult with your veterinarian to formulate a plan of treatment specifically suited for your pet.
Key Benefits of Amitriptyline
- Helps modify behavioral problems
- Adjusts and balance brain chemical levels
- Antidepressant which lessens anxiety
Who's Amitriptyline For?
- Prescription drug
- Used to treat dogs for separation anxiety, general anxiety, and fear of noises
- Used to treat cats for general anxiety and stress-associated behaviors such as excessive grooming and urine spraying
- Used to treat cats for the medical condition interstitial cystitis, which is associated with urination difficulties and increased stress
Active Ingredient: Amitriptyline HCL
Other Ingredients: Colloidal silicone dioxide, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose (monohydrate), magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, pregelatinized starch (corn), titanium dioxide. 10 mg dose also includes: D & C Red # 27 Aluminum Lake, D & C Yellow #10 Aluminum Lake, and FD & C Blue #1 Aluminum Lake. 25 mg dose also includes: D & C Yellow Aluminum Lake.
50 mg dose also includes: FD & C Blue #2 Aluminum Lake, and FD & C Red #40 Aluminum Lake. 75 mg dose also includes: D & C Red #7 Calcium Lake, and FD & C Blue #2 Aluminum Lake.
Ingredients vary slightly between dosages
Side Effects and Warnings
Side effects do not generally occur, but may include:
- Weight gain (in cats)
- Dry mouth (and other symptoms resulting from the drug's function as an antihistamine)
- Loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate
- Urine retention
- Possible increase in excitability.
Overdosing can have severe consequences for the heart, and should be treated immediately.
Amitriptyline can be administered either orally or by injection. Dosage is as prescribed by your veterinarian (generally, an oral dose is between 0.5 and 2 mg per pound once or twice a day for dogs, and between 2 and 10 mg per cat once daily for cats).