Pet owners often find themselves concerned about their furry friends’ well-being during travel or when they experience dizziness. Fortunately, Meclizine, a medication used to treat motion sickness and vestibular disease in pets, can provide relief. In this article, we will explore the uses, benefits, and precautions of Meclizine for dogs and cats.
What Is Meclizine?
Meclizine is commonly used in veterinary medicine to prevent motion sickness in dogs and to alleviate dizziness associated with vestibular disease in dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, and other small animals. Specifically formulated for dogs, NausX® is an over-the-counter veterinary product containing Meclizine. It is important to note that NausX® for medium and large breed dogs contains a different active ingredient called dimenhydrinate, while the small breed version does contain Meclizine.
While Meclizine is FDA-approved for human use under the brand name Antivert® and is found in human medications such as Dramamine® Less Drowsy and Bonine®, it is not currently approved by the FDA for veterinary use. However, veterinarians can legally prescribe certain human drugs to animals in specific circumstances, known as extra-label or off-label use.
How Meclizine Works
Meclizine falls under the category of H1 receptor blockers. It functions by blocking chemical messengers in the gastrointestinal system from reaching the vomiting center of the brain, known as the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CRTZ). This mechanism prevents nausea and vomiting.
It is crucial to consult your veterinarian before administering Meclizine to ensure its suitability for your pet, as it may not be appropriate for pets with certain medical conditions. Additionally, it is important to discuss your pet’s medications with your veterinarian to avoid any potential health risks when combined with Meclizine.
It is recommended to follow the directions provided on the drug label or those given by your veterinarian. Meclizine can generally be administered with or without food, but giving it with food can help reduce the risk of digestive upset.
When using Meclizine to prevent motion sickness, your veterinarian may advise you to administer it within a specific timeframe before embarking on your journey.
In case you miss a dose, consult your veterinarian for guidance. Typically, they may instruct you to administer it when you remember. If it is close to the time for your pet’s next dose, they may suggest skipping the missed dose and returning to the regular dosing schedule. Avoid giving extra or double doses.
Meclizine Possible Side Effects
Meclizine is generally well tolerated by most pets. However, some common side effects may include drowsiness, sleepiness, dry eyes, and a fast heart rate. It is important to note that Meclizine should not be given to pregnant dogs or puppies under six months of age.
Considering that Meclizine is also prescribed to humans, it is crucial to keep all medications prescribed for humans away from pets due to potential side effects.
Contact your veterinarian if you observe severe side effects, if your pet’s condition worsens or does not improve with treatment, if you suspect an overdose, or if you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the use of Meclizine.
Meclizine Overdose Information
The signs of a Meclizine overdose depend on the dose ingested and the weight of the animal. Moderate overdoses may result in drowsiness, overexcitement, vomiting, or an elevated heart rate. Severe overdoses can cause heavy sedation, hallucinations, seizures, an elevated heart rate, or an inability to urinate.
If you suspect a Meclizine overdose, contact your veterinarian immediately, seek emergency veterinary care, or call an animal poison control center such as the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435. Please note that consultation fees may apply.
Meclizine should be stored at controlled room temperatures between 68-77°F (20-25°C). Always refer to the medication label for specific storage instructions. Ensure that the container is tightly closed to protect it from moisture and light. For compounded medications, follow the storage instructions provided by the compounding pharmacy. Keep Meclizine out of the reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
For more information about Meclizine and its uses, consult your veterinarian. Put your furry friend’s well-being first and ensure a comfortable journey with the help of Meclizine from Katten TrimSalon.