Meclizine is an antihistamine that is used to treat allergies, problems of equilibrium, and motion sickness. It is an extra-label, over the counter drug used in veterinary medicine. It is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and should therefore be used under the guidance of a veterinarian.
It is commonly known under the brand names Bonine® and Antivert®. When the vestibular system is overstimulated it causes dizziness and nausea. This can occur either due to
- Underdevelopment especially in young dogs
- An inner ear infection
- Intake of drugs that damage the vestibular system receptors
- Idiopathic (no known cause)
The vestibular system is located in the ear. It is responsible for maintaining balance which allows dogs to move around, jump, and play. Motion sickness is easily detected when dogs are on the move in cars, air, or on a boat.
They usually exhibit uneasiness as well as:
- Excessive drooling
- Constant licking of the lips
- Whinnying and crying
- Reluctance to move or immobility
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vocalization or whining
- Urination and or defecation
Meclizine dosage for dogs is at 25mg once daily.
What is meclizine?
Meclizine HCL 25mg
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Meclizine is an antihistamine used in human medicine. It is an extra-label drug in veterinary medicine. It is also an over of the counter medication and popularly comes under the brand names Bonine®, Antivert®.
It comes packaged in 12.5 mg, 25 mg, 30 mg, and 50 mg tablets and 25 mg capsules. Its effects last for 6 hours and cause minimal sedation. It should be used 30 minutes to one hour before travel.
What is it used for?
It is used to treat allergies, nausea due to the overstimulation of the vestibular system, and motion sickness in dogs and cats. The Vestibular disease usually occurs as a result of injury or infection to the inner ear, the use of drugs that affect the vestibular system, and in some cases, it has been documented to be idiopathic.
Overstimulation of the vestibular system causes nausea as well as:
- extreme head tilt
- eye shifting rapidly
It can also occur in puppies that have an underdeveloped vestibular system. Most puppies outgrow the condition in no time. In adult dogs, symptoms wear off shortly within 3 days and complete recovery in 2 weeks.
Meclizine dosage for dogs
Meclizine dosage for a dog is 25mg once per day per dog for treating motion sickness. The dosage can however vary depending on the severity of the condition, weight, and size of the dog.
It is therefore important to seek guidance from your veterinarian even though the drug is available over the counter. It is available in the form of chewable tablets as well as in capsules in varying concentrations; 12.5 mg, 25 mg, 30 mg, and 25 m. They can be given with or without food.
Side effects of Meclizine
Meclizine should not be combined with other antihistamines, sedatives, tranquilizers, or heparin as it can cause adverse drug interactions. It should also be avoided in dogs with the following conditions:
- Heart diseases
- Seizure disorder or epilepsy
- An overactive thyroid
- Any dog that is allergic to the drug
- It also causes birth defects therefore should be avoided in pregnant bitches
- It also causes a decrease in milk production therefore contraindicated in lactating bitches.
It should also be used with caution in dogs with:
- Chronic gastrointestinal problems
- Urinary bladder abnormalities
- Liver failure
- Prostate gland enlargement
- Kidney failure
Meclizine is tolerable in most dogs. Adverse side effects are common in cases where there has been an overdose.
Common side effects include:
- Urine retention
- Dry mouth
- Increased heart rate or tachycardia
- Exacerbation of glaucoma in affected dogs
- Decrease in milk production in lactating bitches
- Avoid feeding your dog before travel. If one must do it 2 to 3 hours before travel. This allows the food to be digested therefore reduce the chances of vomiting.
- Allow your dog to sit next to the window. This allows them to see motion as well as feel it. It also allows good air circulation
- Feed him or her ginger or ginger snap cookie. Ginger has natural anti-nausea effects. Peppermint, catnip, and dill also work well.
- Herbs with mild sedative effects such as oat straw, skullcap, and passionflower can help.
- Tincture can also be effective in dogs that find it hard to digest herbs. 12 to 20 drops per 20 pounds works effectively.
- Cocculus indicus is popularly used to relieve upset stomach or nausea arising from motion sickness. It is usually crushed into powder and dissolved in water for drinking. It should however be given prior travel. Argentum nitricum also helps to relieve anxiety and nausea.
Meclizine is an antihistamine drug used to treat nausea and motion sickness in dogs. It is an extra-label drug in veterinary medicine and should therefore be used under the guidance of a veterinarian.
Motion sickness occurs often in dogs and is usually noted once the dog has had experience either in the car, air, or boat. It presents with nausea, drooling, excess licking of the lips, anxiety, vomiting among other symptoms.
Overstimulation of the vestibular system can also cause nausea. It can occur as a result of inner ear infection or the use of drugs that can cause injury to its receptors. Meclizine is prescribed at a dose of 25 mg per dog once daily.
This however depends on the severity, weight, and size of the dog. It should be given 30 minutes to one hour before travel. The effects last for approximately 6 hours. It is also quite tolerable in most dogs.
This drug should not be used concurrently with other antihistamines, sedatives, tranquilizers, heparin, etc. Homeopathic remedies are also available which offer desired effects e.g. Cocculus indicus