Side effects of Phenylpropanolamine

The side effects of phenylpropanolamine, a drug commonly used to treat urinary incontinence (involuntary urine leakage) in dogs and cats by boosting the sphincter tone of the urethra (which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder), are varied.

They include:

  • accelerated heart rate
  • a rise in blood pressure
  • appetite loss
  • irritability
  • restlessness

In rare cases it has been known to adversely affect the liver and kidneys and cause hemorrhagic stroke (a burst blood vessel in the brain). Because of the potentially damaging side effects of an accelerated heart rate and elevated blood pressure, phenylpropanolamine should not be administered to dogs or cats with diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure, reduced appetite or cardiovascular disease.

There are other causes of urinary incontinence besides a weak bladder sphincter, such as bladder or urinary tract infection, spinal cord disease or excessive water intake and these should all be ruled out by your veterinarian before beginning a treatment program with phenylpropanolamine.