Potassium bromide is a water-soluble ionic salt compound. Potassium bromide, or KBr, is usually produced via a reaction of a bromide of iron with potassium carbonate. The brand name for KBr is Dibro-Be mono.

In 1857, Sir Charles Locock discovered the anticonvulsant and sedative traits of potassium bromide and began treating his patients. From that point, potassium bromide became a choice treatment for humans with epileptic seizures and nervous disorders until the 1912 discovery of Phenobarbital.

The introduction of Phenobarbital considerably decreased the popularity of potassium bromide in treating humans with epileptic seizures. As a result, potassium bromide is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Potassium Bromide and Veterinary Medicine

Potassium bromide is often prescribed in veterinary medicine for the effective treatment of epileptic seizures in dogs. Depending on the needs of the individual patient, potassium bromide may be the sole form of treatment or used in correlation with Phenobarbital.

Potassium bromide therapy is a rarity among the feline species, as treatment may substantially increase the risk of lung inflammation. Alternative therapies are often explored for cats, such as Diazepam or Phenobarbital, before introducing potassium bromide.

In veterinary medicine, potassium bromide typically comes in a liquid of capsule form. Since it can take three to four months to reach a steady bromide blood level, patients often receive a high dosage at the onset of treatment.

Veterinary Medicine — Potassium Bromide and Potential Side Effects

Many experts in veterinary medicine consider potassium bromide to be equally, if not more effective than Phenobarbital in treating dogs for seizures. However, as with virtually all medications, the possibility of side effects does exist.

Among other potential side effects, patients taking potassium bromide may experience appetite loss, nausea, frequent urination, thirst and drowsiness, especially when treatment is initiated with a high dosage. Coughing is another possible side effect. In such cases, potassium bromide treatment may be halted.

Potassium bromide should be administered with food. Be sure to consult with a licensed specialist in veterinary medicine to arrive at the best possible treatment.