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Pregabalin For Veterinary Use

By Evan Ware, DVM

Basic Information

Pregabalin is one of the promising new medications that is used to treat canines and felines with idiopathic epilepsy. Pregabalin is a neuroactive medication that works in a way that is similar to Gabapentin in that it binds to calcium channels, thereby decreasing calcium influx, which has been shown to be an active trigger of seizures in animals.

Veterinary Medicine Uses for Pregabalin

Pregabalin is prescribed as an alternative therapy for pets that don't benefit from, or have sensitivity issues with, Phenobarbital or Potassium Bromide. In addition to being an appropriate medication for seizure control, Pregabalin also has been shown to be an effective modulator for neuropathic pain.

Potential Side-Effects of Pregabalin

Like phenobarbital, Pregabalin can decrease the activity in the Glutamate neurotransmitter in the brain. As a result, the medication also can produce a reduction in the activity in other neurons as well, and this can lead to lethargy and other unwanted side-effects. As a result, pets that are prescribed Pregabalin should be monitored closely.

Other potential side effects of Pregabalin include dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, nausea, vomiting, gas, anxiety, and weight gain. In some cases, Pregabalin has caused a pet to experience sores, redness, and other skin irritations.

Precautions for Using Pregabalin

There are some instances in which using Pregabalin should be closely guarded. These include the pet is taking ACE inhibitors, antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, or any other anticonvulsant medication for seizure control.

Pregabalin should be avoided in pets who are pregnant or nursing, as well as in those with a known sensitivity to the drug.

Pregabalin is commercially available as Lyrica®.

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Therapeutic Class
Anticonvulsant; neuropathic pain agent

Dogs, Cats

May Be Prescribed by Vets for:
Adjunctive therapy for refractory or complex partial seizures and to treat chronic pain

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About the Author

Dr. Evan Ware

Evan Ware, DVM

Dr. Evan Ware is a veterinary practitioner in Phoenix, Arizona. He received both his undergraduate degree in microbiology and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Ware is currently the Medical Director of University Animal Hospital (VCA) and is also the owner of two other hospitals, including Laveen Veterinary Center and Phoenix Veterinary Center. His areas of interest include orthopedic medicine and surgery, veterinary oncology and chemotherapy, and general and advanced soft-tissue surgery.