Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate) for Dogs

What is Dramamine

Dramamine (generic name dimenhydrinate), an antihistamine and anticholinergic drug, is commonly used for managing motion sickness symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and vomiting[10]. Its function involves working on the brain to effectively reduce the problems.

Can you give a dog Dramamine?

Available as pills and liquid, it is often prescribed to dogs for preventing and controlling vomiting, nausea, dizziness, excessive drooling, inactivity, and other symptoms associated with car sickness [1, 2]. It may also be used for managing vestibular disease in older dogs [12].

Available over-the-counter as well, but this form has not been approved for veterinary use by the FDA [1].

It is never recommended to give your dog Dramamine without consulting a licensed vet.

 

Dramamine Dimenhydrinate

How does Dramamine work in dogs?

Dramamine blocks certain neurotransmitters, e.g. acetylcholine, to prevent the passage of information from the vestibular apparatus (middle ear) and inner ear to the part of the brain associated with coordination of reflex actions like vomiting and swallowing [6, 8].

How much Dramamine is safe for your dog?

Make sure to follow the dosage direction of your veterinarian, with dosages varying depending on the size, weight, and age of your pet. Usually, the oral dose of the chewable tablets and liquid medicines containing dimenhydrinate as the active ingredient varies between 2-4 mg/lb once every 8 hours [3, 4].

Directions for use

Follow the usage directions given by your vet. The medication may be provided with food, with the first dose usually given 30-60 minutes prior to travel [1, 5]. Make sure your dog does not miss even a single dose.

Signs of overdose

In case of an overdose, look for signs of toxicity like seizures, respiratory depression, and lethargy.  Immediately contact your veterinarian or call the Animal Poison Control Center Helpline (1-888-426-4435) [1].

Side effects in dogs

Common side effects in dogs may include dry mouth, sedation, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and urinary retention [1, 7]. Some rarer effects may include diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting [7].

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.

When not to give Dramamine to your dog

It should not be given if your pet is suffering from glaucoma, intestinal and urinary obstruction, prostate disease, seizures, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, lung and heart diseases.

Its use is also not advisable in dogs allergic to antihistamines [1]. Functioning of working dogs may get affected by the drowsiness caused by the drug. Not recommended for use in pregnant dogs [11].

Interactions

During a checkup, do not forget to inform your vet about any medicines and supplements you are already giving your pet.

Drugs that possibly interact with Dramamine include heparin, epinephrine, CNS depressants, warfarin, and anticholinergic medications [1, 7].

References:

  1. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=26+1303&aid=1399
  2. http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dogs-and-motion-sickness
  3. http://www.veterinaryplace.com/dog-medicine/dramamine-for-dogs/
  4. https://www.cuteness.com/article/dramamine-dosage-dogs
  5. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-10007/dramamine-oral/details
  6. https://familydoctor.org/antiemetic-medicines-otc-relief-for-nausea-and-vomiting/
  7. http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/dimenhydrinate/560
  8. http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2000-04/955494107.Bc.r.html
  9. https://www.drugs.com/pregnancy/dimenhydrinate.html
  10. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/dramamine.html
  11. http://canigivemydog.com/dramamine
  12. http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2011/oct/old_dog_vestibular_disease-11847

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