Major Uses

Atipamezole is used to reverse the effects of sedation and analgesic medications, such as medetomidine (Domitor), dexmedetomidine (Dexdomitor), and xylazine. The drug is generally used to bring a patient out of sedation after a short surgical procedure performed by a veterinarian. When sedation is reversed using atipamezole, recovery time from the procedure can be considerably reduced. Since atipamezole is typically safe, it can be used in many different species.

Common Precautions

Although rare, side effects can occur with the use of atipamezole. Occasional vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, and tremors are some of the more common effects seen. Because the reversal of sedation can occur rapidly, extreme excitation, apprehensiveness, or aggression can be exhibited by many animals. Proper care and precaution should be taken if these behaviors occur. The drug is not recommended for use in pregnant or lactating animals since there is not much research data available on whether or not it is safe for use. Atipamezole should also be used with caution in elderly or severely debilitated animals. It is recommended the drug not be used in animals with the following disorders: cardiac disease, respiratory disease, and liver or kidney disease. Because there is a lack of information of possible drug interactions, the pet's veterinarian needs to be informed of all other medications the pet is taking.

Proper care should be taken when handling an animal coming out of sedation, and situations where the animal may fall should be avoided. Animals should be monitored closely, as a relapse into sedation can occur. Because atipamezole can also reverse analgesic effects, additional pain relievers may need to be considered after painful procedures.

Atipamezole should not be administered to animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Signs of a possible overdose include panting, excitement, trembling, vomiting, liquid feces, and some injury at the injection site of the muscle. The pet's veterinarian should be aware of these reactions.


Atipamezole should be stored protected from light at room temperature (15-30 degrees Celsius or 59-86 degrees Fahrenheit).


Atipamezole is available in a 5 mg/mL injectable and is typically injected intramuscularly. Dosage is determined by the weight of the animal and which medication was previously used for sedation. A typical dose for small animals (8-9 pounds) is 0.3 mg/kg, for medium animals around 20 pounds is 0.2 mg/kg, and for larger animals (100 pounds) is 0.15 mg/kg. 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.

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.