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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2014, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Switching epilepsy medications - advice, opinions, experiences welcomed!

Hi everyone,

Riley was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy just over a year ago. Given his seizure history, he will likely need to be medicated for the duration of his life. As such, I have decided to switch him from Phenobarbital to Zonisamide.

I do so with a bit of trepidation. But, as Zonisamide is believed (at this point) to be safer for dogs long-term, I am going to go forward with making the switch.

When I say, “believed to be,” I mean, that there really is not much known about the long-term effects on canines. To my knowledge, there have not been any peer-reviewed longitudinal studies of epileptic dogs being treated with Zonisamede. If anyone knows of a study of this type, please let me know.

The transition protocol will be as follows:
  • Initial dose Zonisamede – 350milligrams 2x a day
  • First week, continue Pheno as currently dosed – 97.2 mg 2x a day.
  • After the first week, begin tapering Pheno dose by 25% each month.
  • After the first month of Pheno reduction, reduce the dose of Zonisamide to 300mg 2x a day.
Anyone have any thoughts, comments or experiences with a similar transition protocol?

Riley is 80lbs and 4.5 years old.

Last edited by LifeofRiley; 01-10-2014 at 10:40 PM.
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