Acepromazine is a phenothiazine derivative that is commonly used in veterinary medicine for its sedative properties. It potentiates the effects of many central nervous system drugs, thereby decreasing the amount of drug needed. Acepromazine administration has been reported to lower the seizure threshold and is contraindicated in patients with a history of seizure disorders. Most of this information is extrapolated from human data, so this retrospective study was done to evaluate canine patients with histories of acute or chronic seizures that had been given acepromazine during hospitalization. Thirty-one dogs were included in the study and ranged in age from 3 months to 14.9 years. Most participants were presented for seizures. Twenty-two of the dogs had a history of seizures, and 15 of those were on antiseizure medication. All dogs received at least 1 dose of acepromazine while they were in the hospital. Twenty-seven dogs did not have a seizure after acepromazine administration. Four dogs did have seizures within 0.3 to 66 hours after acepromazine administration. There was no observed correlation between acepromazine administration in dogs with a seizure history and recurrence of seizure activity during hospitalization. Further study to evaluate a larger group of dogs and alternative doses is warranted.
COMMENTARY: This article presents findings similar to those of the retrospective study (July/August 2006 JAAHA) that reports on the use of acepromazine in dogs with seizure disorders. Reading the abstract should be sufficient to gain the pertinent information on the article. If you are interested, however, the article sheds some light on where the "no acepromazine in patients with seizures" dogma originated.
Administration of acepromazine maleate to 31 dogs with a history of seizures. McConnell J, Kirby R, Rudloff E. J Vet Emerg Crit Care 17:262-267, 2007.