Major Uses

Acepromazine is used as a sedative/tranquilizer in dogs, cats, horses, and other species of animals. The drug can be given to prevent or treat agitation in pets undergoing transport, grooming, handling, or in other situations that could induce a fearful response. Acepromazine is also used prior to anesthesia for the effects mentioned above as well as to lower the doses of other anesthetics.

Acepromazine can prevent nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness.

Common Precautions

Acepromazine often lowers an animal's blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. These effects are typically not deleterious in healthy animals when the drug is used at appropriate doses. Acepromazine should be used with caution in debilitated animals. Some individuals of certain breeds (e.g., greyhounds, whippets, salukis, wolfhounds, boxers, collies, and border collies) can also be especially sensitive to the adverse affects of acepromazine. Acepromazine can increase the risk of seizures when administered in combination with other medications that lower the seizure threshold.

Elevation of a dog or cat's nictitating membranes (third eyelids) is common with acepromazine administration but resolves as the drug is eliminated from the body. In horses, extension of the penis is possible. In rare cases, acepromazine has been associated with an increase in aggression in dogs and cats.

Acepromazine should not be administered to animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Emergency veterinary care should be sought if an animal experiences pale gums, seizures, excessive sedation, or unconsciousness while being treated with acepromazine.


Acepromazine must be stored at room temperature in a light-resistant, childproof container. Care should be taken to protect the injectable form of acepromazine from freezing.


Acepromazine is available in oral and injectable forms. Giving acepromazine by injection results in a more rapid onset of effect and more predictable levels of sedation.

A typical dose range for acepromazine in dogs is 0.25 - 1 mg/lb (0.55 - 2.2 mg/kg) by mouth or 0.25 - 0.5 mg/lb (0.55 - 1.1 mg/kg) by injection. Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

If a dose is missed, it should be administered as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the subsequent dose, the missed dose should be skipped and the regular administration schedule resumed. Two doses of acepromazine should not be administered at the same time.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.