Dog Seizure Treatment with Felbamate (Keppra)

Felbamate and Keppra are two anticonvulsive drugs that are frequently used in tandem on dogs suffering from seizures. These two drugs are in different classes, as Felbamate is a carbamate anticonvulsant and Keppra is a pyrrolidine anticonvulsant. However, in what concerns the medical conditions that can be treated with these drugs, epilepsy is common to both of them. Even though both Felbamate and Keppra are primarily intended for the treatment of human seizure disorders, they are considered safe and effective for dogs, too.  

Prescription Medication of Dog Seizures

Keppra and Felbamate, as well as all the other drugs meant for such serious afflictions as epilepsy, can only be purchased with a prescription from the veterinarian. In other words, you need to take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as any epilepsy symptoms are noticed, so that the treatment can be started right away.

Felbamate and Keppra may also be administered along with phenobarbital, in order to reduce the phenobarbital dose. These drugs are usually recommended when phenobarbital proves not to be effective enough, and the seizures cannot be controlled.

Biochemical Pathways of Felbamate and Keppra

It is yet unknown how Felbamate and Keppra achieve their effects. At the moment, this uncertainty is common to the majority of anticonvulsive drugs. It is believed that Keppra binds to a synaptic vesicle protein that is named SV2A. As a result, neurotransmission is affected and

Recommended Dosage

Before administering Felbamate or Keppra to your dog, you first need to find out his body weight, as the dosage depends on this. The recommended initial dosage for Felbamate is of 15 mg/kg, every 8 hours. The drug is well assimilated after being administrated orally, and it is only partially metabolized in the liver.

The recommended dosage for Keppra, on the other hand, is of 20 mg/kg, every 8 hours. Considering that both these drugs need to be administered at certain intervals, you have to be very disciplined, so your dog can fully benefit of the effects of the treatment. The veterinarian may suggest a higher dosage if the expected results are not noticed shortly.

Side Effects of Felbamate and Keppra

Some of the side effects that may be experienced by your dog while following a treatment based on Felbamate include:

These are the less severe adverse reactions that may occur. Two other side effects, namely aplastic anemia and liver failure, are life threatening, but fortunately they are very rare. However, most of these adverse reactions can be easily avoided if you respect the recommended dosage and if you do not administer to your dog other types of medication with which Felbamate may interact. The fatal side effects, in contrast, can be prevented by performing blood tests periodically. If the veterinarian notices any signs of liver toxicity or bone marrow suppression, he may decide to lower the dosage or use an alternative drug.

Keppra, on the other hand, does not have any side effects and does not have serious interactions with any drugs, facts that make this medication quite appealing to most veterinarians.