Major Uses

Doxapram is used in dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, cattle, and swine to stimulate breathing in newborns or after anesthesia. Doxapram works by stimulating the central nervous system, more specifically, the brain's respiratory system. Although Doxapram may be used in adjunct to standard CPR techniques, it is not a replacement for artificial respiration or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Common Precautions

Adverse reactions to doxapram include arrhythmias, hypertension, seizures, and hyperventilation. The drug should not be used in animals with a history of severely high blood pressure, an irregular heart rhythm, hyperthyroidism, or asthma. Doxapram should not be administered via a single injection site for a prolonged period of time. Doxapram may mask the effects of muscle relaxant drugs.

Doxapram should not be administered to animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Symptoms of an overdose include skeletal muscle hyperactivity, seizures, and hypertension. Adverse effects are more likely when administered repeatedly or at high doses. Emergency veterinary care should be sought should any unusual symptoms occur.


Doxapram should be stored at room temperature and freezing should be avoided. Doxapram should never be mixed with alkaline solutions.


Doxapram is available in oral and injectable forms. It should only be administered under veterinary supervision.

Following anesthesia, the typical dose for Doxapram is 0.5-2.5 mg per pound of body weight or 1-5 mg intravenous. For a newborn, the typical dose is 1-2 drops under the tongue or 0.1 ml intravenous.

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 given as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the subsequent dose, the missed dose should be skipped and the regular administration schedule should resume. Two doses of doxapram should never be administered at once.

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.