Acepromazine is a sedative and antipsychotic agent. It is prescribed exclusively in veterinary medicine. For behavioral problems, psychosis, severe itching and travel, acepromazine sedates excited dogs, cats, horses and other animals and makes them easier to guide.

What is Acepromazine?

Acepromazine is a sedative and antipsychotic agent. It is prescribed exclusively in veterinary medicine.

The neuroleptic and sedative agent acepromazine is characterized by its high efficacy. This surpasses other sedative medications such as chlorpromazine and promazine. Acepromazine can also be used in very low doses.

In addition to restraining animals, it counteracts vomiting and more effectively blocks the effects of histamine in both low and acetylcholine levels. The active substance acepromazine, an originally yellowish oil, is present in medicines as acepromazine maleate. Maleate is a crystalline, yellow and odorless powder of bitter taste.

The photosensitive medicine should be kept dark and well sealed. Drugs containing the active substance acepromazine are available under the trade names Calmivet, Prequillan, Sedalin and Vetranquil. They are available as tablets, solution for injection, granules and gel for oral, subcutaneous, intramuscular and intravenous administration.

Pharmacological action

Acepromazine has a calming and muscle-relaxing effect. This effect is mainly due to a blockade of dopamine-2 receptors (D-2 receptors). The remaining 5 dopamine receptors do not affect the drug.

In addition to blocking the D-2 receptors, acepromazine inhibits the release and turnover of dopamine. The dopamine antagonism also leads to the antiemetic effect of the drug, especially in the case of vomiting attributable to opioids. A likewise brought about blockade of the α-1 adenoceptors dilates the blood vessels, whereupon the blood pressure decreases as well as the hematocrit value.

Vasodilation often leads to a fall in body temperature: poikilothermia. In addition, the active ingredient reduces the tone of the smooth muscles and thus relaxes them. In acute respiratory distress, acepromazine prolongs the respiratory rate and has a calming effect.

As acepromazine can also be used in other animals, in addition to dogs, cats and horses, further efficacy is discussed here. For example, in captured wild animals the vasodilation of stress-related myopathy is counteracted. In pigs it helps to prevent malignant hypothermia during stress.

Acepromazine already works in low dosages. Larger doses only increase the duration of action, but not the potency. If a stronger effect is desired, the combination with benzodiazepines or alternatively a combination with opioids or ketamine is recommended on a trial basis.

Medical application & use

In small animals such as dogs and cats, acepromazine calms anxious, agitated or aggressive animals. Even when traveling or to alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness, the drug has been proven. Even psychosis and behavioral problems can be positively influenced by acepromazine.

Also, it takes horses the stress of transportation. Its long-term efficacy is beneficial and acepromazine does not cause ataxia.

Acepromazine is an excellent support for even difficult-to-maintain medical examinations, such as rectal or vaginal inspections or minor procedures, even in otherwise quiet animals. The sedated animals feel significantly less stress and the examination can be performed safer and faster.

The remedy may also be used premedicated to relax against anesthesia and combined with strong analgesics. Domestic cats with vasospasm induced by ischemic myopathy benefit from therapy with acepromazine. It also works well in obstructive diseases of the lower urinary tract of cats. For amphetamine intoxications, acepromazine is an effective antidote.

A lack of milk production in mammals stimulates acepromazine, since it acts as an antagonist to the prolactin inhibitor dopamine. Acepromazine is suitable for the treatment of pets, zoo animals and farm animals.

Risks & Side Effects

In certain situations the administration of acepromazine is contraindicated. So it may not be administered in a state of shock because of its vasodilator effect. Because of this vasodilatory effect with concomitant drop in blood pressure, acepromazine should preferably not be given to very young or old animals.

Even with heart problems, treatment with acepromazine should be discouraged. An increased sensitivity to the drug has been observed in greyhounds and breeds with short heads (brachycephalic) such as boxers or Pekingese.

Other contraindications are particularly severe excitement, major trauma, convulsions, epilepsy, severe liver dysfunction and coagulation disorders. Not to be treated with acepromazine may be gerbils, as these animals easily react with tonic-clonic convulsions. Tags: 

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