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About Amitriptyline Behavior Medication for Pets

About this Tricyclic Antidepressant for OCD in Dogs and Separation Anxiety in Cats

By Team PetCareRx. May 22, 2013

Amitriptyline Pill Bottle

indications for Amitriptyline

Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) used in behavior modification of dogs and cats. However, the drug works best in combination with behavioral modification techniques suggested by a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. The drug is also used to treat separation anxiety, inappropriate urination and feline lower urinary tract disease in cats, and for obsessive grooming behaviors in both dogs and cats. Amitriptyline also helps lessen the pain associated with occurrence of cystitis and reduces the inflammation of the bladder lining in cats.


Amitriptyline should not be given to animals with hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug. Amitriptyline has the possibility to interact with other medications. So, do consult a veterinarian to find out if other drugs the pet is taking might interact with amitriptyline. Such drugs mainly include cimetidine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or serotonin reuptake inhibitors.


The usual dose of Amitriptyline given to dogs is 0.5-2mg/pound every 8-12 hours. The usual dose given to cats is 5-10mg as a single dose once a day.

Side Effects

Amitriptyline may cause numerous side effects in animals including drowsiness, weight gain, loss of appetite, reduced grooming, bladder stone formation and urine retention. However, these instances are rare and mild. An overdose of Amitriptyline can have serious impact on the heart. Pets that take in large amounts of this drug should be quickly taken to a veterinarian. Amitriptyline is a prescription drug and must be obtained only by prescription from a veterinarian.

Brand/Generic equivalents

Elavil, Tryptanol, Endep, Elatrol, Tryptizol, Trepiline, Laroxyl

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Amitriptyline at a glance

  • 1For dogs and cats
  • 2An antidepressant
  • 3An oral medication
  • 4Treats issues like depression, OCD, separation anxiety, inappropriate urination, and feline urinary issues
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