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Clomipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant used to treat behavior problems in pets. Approved by the FDA for veterinary use, clomipramine for dogs is prescribed to treat separation anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and dominance aggression.

If your veterinarian has prescribed clomipramine for your dog, or if you’re looking for ways to help manage your pet’s anxiety, keep reading to find out more about the dosage, efficacy, and side effects of clomipramine.

Dosage

Clomipramine is given orally as either a tablet or capsule. The typical dosage ranges from 0.9 mg to 1.8 mg per pound of body weight every 24 hours. However, the amount prescribed will depend on your pet’s treatment needs.

Dosage instructions

Clomipramine should only ever be given on the advice of your veterinarian. It can be given with or without food. Follow dosage instructions closely and monitor your pet for any signs of an adverse reaction to the drug.

Efficacy

Clomipramine is sold under a variety of brand names, including Clomicalm and Anafranil. This tricyclic antidepressant increases the levels of serotonin in the brain and treats separation anxiety and other anxiety-related issues.

Several studies have explored the efficacy of clomipramine for dogs. One study into the use of clomipramine in the treatment of separation anxiety found that, compared to placebo, dogs treated with clomipramine were 3 times less likely to exhibit destructive behavior, defecate, or urinate in the absence of their owner. However, there was no statistical difference in terms of vocalization, while a small number of dogs also experienced mild and transient vomiting as a side effect.

A separate study examined the use of clomipramine for dogs to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety, and noise phobias. It found that clomipramine was well-tolerated and effective in controlling signs of these conditions in 16 of 24 assessable cases when used along with behavior modification. An improvement in clinical signs was also noted in 5 other cases.

Finally, studies show that the short-term administration of clomipramine slightly reduces fear and anxiety in dogs during ground transport. It’s also effective in treating tail chasing.

However, one study did find that, compared to placebo, clomipramine did not reduce dominance-related aggressiveness toward human family members.

Side effects

Clomipramine for dogs can produce the following side effects:

If your dog experiences any side effects of clomipramine, consult your vet for advice.

Considerations

Just like any other drug, clomipramine for dogs may potentially interact with other medications your dog is taking. It also may not be suitable for pets with certain medical conditions, so it’s essential that your vet knows your pet’s full medical history before prescribing clomipramine.

Drug interactions

Clomipramine can interact with the following medications:

  • Flea or tick control products that contain amitraz

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (such as selegiline)

  • Some pain relief medications (such as tramadol and pentazocine)

  • Anti-thyroid medications (such as methimazole)

  • Histamine blockers (cimetidine)

  • Anti-epileptic drugs (such as phenytoin and carbamazepine)

  • Anti-arrhythmic drugs (quinidine)

  • Cisapride

  • Anti-fungal medications (such as ketoconazole and itraconazole)

This is not a complete list of the drugs clomipramine for dogs may interact with. Make sure your veterinarian is aware of all medications your dog is currently on or has taken recently.

Allergic reactions and sensitivity

Do not give clomipramine for dogs to pets with a known hypersensitivity to the drug or other tricyclic antidepressants. Additionally, avoid clomipramine in dogs who have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor in the last 14 days.

Use clomipramine with caution in pregnant and lactating dogs, as well as dogs with the following health issues:

  • Liver disease

  • Heart disease

  • Thyroid disease

  • Cardiovascular problems

  • Glaucoma

  • Gastrointestinal function

  • Difficulty urinating

  • Heart rhythm abnormalities

Finally, don’t give your pet any aged cheese while they are taking this drug.

Frequently asked questions

What should I do if I miss giving my pet a dose of clomipramine?

If you miss a dose of clomipramine, don’t give your pet a double dose. Instead, continue with the regular dosing schedule.

How should clomipramine be stored?

Store clomipramine in a sealed container at room temperature. Keep clomipramine out of direct sunlight and out of reach of children.

What should I do if my pet has an overdose of clomipramine?

If your pet has an overdose or suffers an adverse reaction to clomipramine, seek emergency veterinary medical attention.


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