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Diphenhydramine HcL is an ethanolamine derivative H1 receptor antihistamine, with secondary sedative, anticholinergic, antitussive, and antiemetic effects. In other words, this drug blocks the part of the brain that responds to allergens (histamine), relaxes them, keeps them from coughing, and prevents nausea. Most offten used in pets that suffer from seasonal allergies, this medication is helpful when dealing with rashes, like pruritus or insect bites, or when dealing with motion sickness. Available in multiple strengths (prescription and OTC) and as a tablet or an injectable, there are a number of different ways to optimize the way your pet receives their treatment depending on their condition.
Diphenhydramine HcL should be used with caution in pets suffering from angle closure glaucoma, prostatic hypertrophy, bladder neck or pyloroduodenal obstruction, COPD, hyperthyroidism, cardiovascular disease, or hypertension. Should only be used in pregnant patients when the benefits outweigh the risks.
Taking diphenhydramine with CNS depressants might cause excessive depression of the central nervous system. MAOI inhibitors might intensify the anticholinergic effects of diphenhydramine. Diphenhydramine might overly enhance the effects of epinephrine, and counteract the anticoagulant effects of heparin or warfarin.
For dogs, anywhere between 1 - 4 mg/kg orally or IM every 8 hours For cats, anywhere between 0.5 - 4 mg/kg orally or IM every 8 hours
Possible side effects of diphenhydramine HcL are CNS depression, dry mouth, urine retention, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. The sedative effects of diphenhydramine might lessen over repeated uses. In some cats, a paradoxical CNS excitation might occur.
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