Youtube Play

What is Antidepressant Poisoning?

One of the top 10 poisonings in dogs is caused by antidepressant medicines, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclics (TCAs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and novel antidepressants.

While there are many different kinds of antidepressants, they are all toxic to your dog if too much is ingested. Tricyclic antidepressants are potentially the most dangerous because they can affect the heart and central nervous system within minutes, and can be fatal if not treated right away, depending on the amount ingested and size of the dog. Cardiac arrhythmia, tachycardia, and bradycardia are common and have to be addressed as soon as possible after ingestion or it can be fatal. It is true that veterinarians sometimes prescribe antidepressants to dogs for certain conditions, but even with small doses, side effects can always occur.

Antidepressant Poisoning Average Cost

From 77 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$650

Symptoms of Antidepressant Poisoning

Although antidepressant poisonings share many symptoms, they each have some unique symptoms that should be noted. This may help in determining which medication your dog has ingested if it is unknown. The symptoms can be separated by the type, or may be just general symptoms if the medication type is unknown:

General

SSRI

 TCA

MAOI

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Coma
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Shock
  • Tachycardia

Novel

  • Seizures
  • Tremors

Types

There are many types of antidepressant medications with different names, but the most common are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclics (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

SSRI

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Nefazodone (Serzone)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Trazodone (Desyrel)

TCA

  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Doxepin (Sinequan)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Trimipramine (Surmontil)

MAOI

  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Selegiline (Emsam)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)

Novel

  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Maprotiline (Ludiomil)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Antidepressant Poisoning

The causes of antidepressant poisoning usually includes one of these three things:

  • Accidental ingestion (dog eating human’s medication)
  • Giving too much medication (accidental double dosage or failure to follow proper instruction)
  • Side effect of medication (rare)
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Antidepressant Poisoning

Before examining your dog for diagnosis, your veterinarian will make sure they are stable. Depending on how long ago the antidepressant was ingested, your veterinarian may first treat your dog by trying to induce vomiting, and will use activated charcoal, which is effective even several hours after ingestion. Gastric lavage or enema will also be tried if necessary. The main thing is to remove the toxic chemicals from your dog’s system in any way possible. The veterinary team may go ahead and admit your dog to the hospital to provide IV fluids, medication, and observation.

During the examination, your veterinarian will check your dog’s heart rate, body temperature, respiration, and reflexes. It is important for you to give your veterinarian as much information as you have on your dog’s medical history, including vaccinations, recent illness or injury, and what kind of medicine you believe was ingested.

Your veterinarian will do some blood tests, such as a blood chemistry panel, blood gas analysis, and complete blood count (CBC). In addition, a urinalysis will help your veterinarian check that the kidneys are functioning properly. Your veterinarian will perform an EKG to monitor your dog’s heart rate and rhythm, and they may do an echocardiogram to see if the heart is pumping normally.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Antidepressant Poisoning

The recommended treatments for toxicity of any of these antidepressants include inducing vomiting as soon as possible after ingestion of the drug, activated charcoal, lavage, and an enema to promote bowel movement. This will get rid of the chemicals in the body if done early enough. Your veterinarian may also use sodium bicarbonate for acidosis, barbiturates or diazepam for seizures, and propranolol for tremors and irregular heart rate. Your dog will probably need to stay in the hospital for a minimum of 24 hours for observation.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Antidepressant Poisoning

Once you get home, make sure to find a place to store medications that your dog cannot get access to. In most cases, your dog will be fine within 24 to 48 hours after the drug wears off, but continue any medication that your veterinarian has given you, and be sure to call your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.

Antidepressants poisoning in dogs can be expensive to treat, so start searching for pet insurance today. Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Embrace. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

arrow-up-icon

Top

Cost of Antidepressant Poisoning

The cost of treating antidepressants poisoning can vary depending on how serious the condition is. A vet visit to induce vomiting typically costs between $300 and $500, while a short hospitalization can be anywhere from $600 to $1,700.

Got more questions about antidepressants poisoning in dogs? Chat with a vet professional today to get answers.
arrow-up-icon

Top

Antidepressant Poisoning Average Cost

From 77 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$650

arrow-up-icon

Top

Antidepressant Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

lab pit mix

dog-age-icon

Two Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

My 60lbs dog ate approximately 75 mg of Wellbutrin and I don't have peroxide to make him throw up. Will he be okay?

Jan. 8, 2021

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

2 Recommendations

This is not a medicine used for dogs and there is extremely limited information available. You could call the poisons hotline (888) 426-4435. Alternatively you could bring your dog to the local emergency clinic and they will be able to make him sick there.

Jan. 8, 2021

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Pug

dog-age-icon

Twelve Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

4 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

My pug (20lbs) accidentally ate a 20mg fluexotine that my other dog takes daily. It dropped and my pug ate it.

Nov. 23, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

4 Recommendations

We use this medicine at a dose of up to 2mg/kg so as long as the Pug is 10kg or more we wouldn't expect an issue. Temporary lethargy and nausea may occur. If there has been an overdose, an immediate vet visit is advised in case we need to induce vomiting.

Nov. 23, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

Antidepressant Poisoning Average Cost

From 77 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$650

Ask a vet
Need pet insurance?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.