Major Uses

Bromides are anticonvulsants prescribed to control epilepsy in dogs and sometimes cats. The drug can be prescribed as the primary source of treatment or in combination with other seizure drugs, such as phenobarbital, to obtain seizure control. Bromide depresses and stabilizes the excited neurons in the brain which will result in reduced seizures.

Common Precautions

The most common side effect with the use of bromides is sedation. It can last up to three weeks, but most dogs become tolerant of the drowsiness after this time period. Vomiting and nausea can also be seen, but if the medication is given with food out of elevated food bowls then these effects are typically reduced. Lack of appetite, excessive urination, and excessive thirst may also be side effects for dogs. Because cats are susceptible to the adverse effects, bromide is typically the veterinarian's last choice of drug for seizure control. It should be used with extreme caution in cats, and some say not at all. Cats can develop lower respiratory conditions, so the pet's veterinarian should be contacted immediately if the cat is coughing and/or has difficulty breathing.

Bromides should be used with caution in older animals with other diseases, dogs with a history of pancreatitis, lactating and pregnant animals, and those with kidney problems. Bromides are removed by the kidneys, so it is best they are healthy before the drug is prescribed. Possible drug interactions can occur, so the pet's veterinarian should be aware of other medications the pet takes, as well as food and treats that are given. Chloride content of the pet's diet should be controlled, since too low or too high of chloride levels can be toxic.

Bromides should not be administered to animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Signs of an overdose or toxicity may include central nervous system depression, ataxia (uncoordinated movements), tremors, weakness, and hind limb stiffness. If any of these symptoms are present, the pet's veterinarian, or emergency care, should be sought immediately.


Bromides should be stored in tight containers that are light resistant, childproof, and at room temperature.


Bromides are supplied in capsule, chewable, or liquid form. The typical dose for dogs is 15-20 mg/lb (30-40 mg/kg) by mouth every 24 hours. Some veterinarian's may prescribe a "loading dose" when bromide is first started. This is when a much higher dose is administered to get the drug into the animal's bloodstream at a faster pace. Extreme care should be taken so doses are not missed; as seizures will most likely occur. If a dose is missed it should be given as soon as possible, unless it is almost time for the next dose. Two doses should not be administered at once, so the missed dose can be skipped and the regular dosing schedule should be followed. The prescribing veterinarian should be contacted if there are any questions. 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.