Doxepin is an antidepressant that is being used by modern veterinarians to treat dogs suffering from a range of anxiety-based disorders. The medication is also a very strong antihistamine; however, it is not used in that capacity in veterinary medicine.

Doxepin for Treating Anxiety Disorders in Canines

Veterinary Uses of Doxepin

Doxepin is used in veterinary medicine primarily as a treatment for depression and as a behavioral modifying solution. It is often prescribed to treat acral lick dermatitis, noise phobia, canine obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety-related disorders.

Possible Side Effects of Doxepin

Doxepin is safe and effective when administered in accordance with the prescription, but some animals may experience certain side effects during treatment. Common potential side effects of Doxepin include an elevated heart rate, constipation, dry mouth, increased drinking, low or high blood pressure and blue or green-tinged urine. These symptoms are normal, however, difficulty breathing, hives or swelling of the lips, tongue or face, may indicate an allergic reaction. In this event, the veterinarian should be contacted immediately.

Doxepin Precautions

Doxepin should not be administered to an animal patient with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to it. It should also be avoided in patients suffering from glaucoma or urinary retention problems.

Doxepin should be used with extreme caution in animals prone to having seizures.

Doxepin Drug Interactions

It is very important that you discuss your pet’s current drug regimen with the veterinarian before Doxepin is administered. Common medications known to interact with Doxepin include thyroid drugs, atropine, certain sedatives, phenytoin, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, antihistamines and norepinephrine. Meanwhile, other medications may increase the effects of Doxepin, such as estrogen medications, cimetidine, enalapril, fluoxetine, verapamil and ranitidine.

How Is Doxepin Supplied?

Doxepin is available by prescription through a veterinary compounding pharmacy in either an oral capsule or concentrate formulation or a topical cream or ointment. The dose and frequency of administration is determined only by the veterinarian and in order for the medicine to work as intended, the prescribed directions should be followed as precisely as possible.


Author: Giano Panzarella