A systematic review of the safety of potassium bromide in dogs

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Baird-Heinz HE, Van Schoick AL, Pelsor FR, et al.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2012;240:705-715.

Objective-To critically evaluate and summarize available information on the safety of potassium bromide in dogs. Design-Systematic review. Sample-111 references reporting safety information relevant to potassium bromide published between 1938 and 2011. Procedures-PubMed searches without date limitations were conducted with the terms “potassium bromide” and “sodium bromide” in December 2009 and October 2011. Additional articles were identified through examination of article reference lists and book chapters on seizures in dogs and pharmacology. Results-Reversible neurologic signs were the most consistently reported toxicoses and were generally associated with adjunctive potassium bromide treatment or high serum bromide concentrations. Dermatologic and respiratory abnormalities were rare in dogs. Insufficient information was available to assess the effects of potassium bromide on behavior or to determine the incidence of vomiting, weight gain, polyphagia, pancreatitis, polyuria, polydipsia, or reproductive abnormalities associated with potassium bromide administration. Evidence suggested that administration of potassium bromide with food may alleviate gastrointestinal irritation and that monitoring for polyphagia, thyroid hormone abnormalities, and high serum bromide concentrations may be beneficial. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results suggested that potassium bromide is not an appropriate choice for treatment of every dog with seizures and that practitioners should tailor therapeutic regimens and clinical monitoring to each dog. Abrupt dietary changes or fluid therapy may compromise seizure control or increase the likelihood of adverse events. Availability of an appropriately labeled, approved potassium bromide product could provide better assurance for veterinarians and their clients of the quality, safety, and effectiveness of the product for veterinary use.