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  • 30mg tablets » Priced per Tablet £0.14
  • 60mg tablets » Priced per Tablet £0.26
  • Solution 4% » 30ml Bottle £16.06

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Description

Epiphen is the most commonly used medication to control fits in dogs resulting from idiopathic epilepsy in the UK. A dose is given twice daily, usually for the rest of the animal's life. Epiphen can be used alone or in conjunction with other medicines. Regular blood tests are recommended to ensure that blood levels of phenobarbitone are appropriate for treatment, and to check for any possible signs of liver trouble. Epiphen side effects are seen on occasions (the main one being liver damage), but these are normally mild as long as blood tests are performed periodically by your vet to monitor treatment progress. Epiphen is a controlled drug and so certain restrictions apply to its sale. However if you get a written prescription for Epiphen from your vet, Viovet can supply it to you. Place your order online or over the telephone, then send us the original prescription by post. We will send you the Epiphen as soon as we have received the order and prescription.

Epiphen 30 mg and 60 mg Tablets

Presentation

Tablets for oral administration.

Phenobarbital tablets are available in two strengths:

White, circular biconvex tablets plain on both sides containing 30 mg phenobarbital.

White, embossed, circular, biconvex tablets containing 60 mg phenobarbital.

Uses

Phenobarbital is an antiepileptic, for use in the control of epilepsy in dogs.

Dosage and administration

The required dosage will differ to some extent between individuals and with the nature and severity of the disorder.

Dogs should be dosed orally, starting with a dose of 2–5 mg per kg bodyweight per day. The dose should be divided and administered twice daily.

Steady state serum concentrations are not reached until 1–2 weeks after treatment is initiated. The full effect of the medication does not appear for two weeks and doses should not be increased during this time.

If seizures are not being controlled, the dosage may be increased by 20% at a time, with associated monitoring of serum phenobarbital levels. The phenobarbital serum concentration may be checked after steady state has been achieved, and if it is less than 15 microgram/ml the dose may be adjusted accordingly. If seizures recur the dose may be raised up to a maximum concentration of 45 microgram/ml. High plasma concentrations may be associated with hepatotoxicity. Blood samples could be taken at the same time to allow plasma phenobarbital concentrations to be determined preferably during trough levels, shortly before the next dose of phenobarbital is due.

Tablets are not intended to be subdivided. For accuracy of dosing, dogs less than 12kg should commence therapy with Epiphen Solution.

Contra-indications, warnings, etc

Contra-indications

Not for use in pregnant animals. Do not administer to animals with impaired hepatic function.

Special precautions for use in animals

Withdrawal of phenobarbital or transition to or from another type of antiepileptic therapy should be made gradually to avoid precipitating an increase in the frequency of seizures.

Phenobarbital may reduce the activity of some drugs by increasing the rate of metabolism through induction of drug-metabolising enzymes in liver microsomes.

Use of phenobarbital tablets in conjunction with primidone is not recommended as primidone is predominantly metabolised to phenobarbital.

Smaller quantities dispensed from this bulk pack should be supplied in a container with a child resistant closure.

User Warnings

In case of accidental ingestion seek medical attention immediately advising medical services of barbiturate poisoning. Wash hands thoroughly after use.

Adverse Reactions

Occasionally polyphagia, polyuria and polydipsia have been reported, but these effects are usually transitory and disappear with continued medication.

Toxicity may develop at doses over 20 mg/kg/day or when serum phenobarbital levels rise above 45 microgram/ml.

In the light of isolated reports describing hepatotoxicity associated with combination anticonvulsant therapy, it is recommended that:

1.Hepatic function is evaluated prior to initiation of therapy (e.g. measurement of serum bile acids).

2.Therapeutic phenobarbital serum concentrations are monitored to enable the lowest effective dose to be used. Typically concentrations of 15–45 microgram/ml are effective in controlling epilepsy.

3.Hepatic function is re-evaluated on a regular (6 to 12 month) basis.

4.Seizure activity is re-evaluated on a regular basis.

Use during pregnancy or lactation

In humans, mothers receiving antiepileptic medication have a 6 to 10% incidence of significant abnormality in their offspring. Neonatal sedation and drug dependence may occur if given close to term. Phenobarbital crosses the placental barrier and small amounts are excreted in breast milk. For these reasons, phenobarbital is contraindicated in pregnancy and nursing bitches.

Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Phenobarbital will potentially reduce therapeutic levels of a wide range of drugs due to its inducing effect on hepatic enzymes.

Overdose (symptoms, emergency procedures, antidotes), if necessary

Overdosage may result in coma, severe respiratory and cardiovascular depression, hypotension and shock leading to renal failure and death. Following the recent ingestion of an overdose, the stomach may be emptied by lavage. The prime objectives of management are then intensive symptomatic and supportive therapy with particular attention being paid to the maintenance of cardiovascular, respiratory and renal functions and to the maintenance of the electrolyte balance.

Withdrawal period

Not applicable

Pharmaceutical precautions

Do not store above 25°C. Protect from light. Store in a dry place and replace the closure promptly.

Any unused product must be destroyed in accordance with the Misuse of Drugs Regulations (2001). Any waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.

Legal category

POM-V CD(Sch 3)

Packaging Quantities

Polypropylene tubes with low density polyethylene caps or high density polyethylene jar securitainer and polypropylene lid containing a dessiccant (silica gel). Pack size 1000 tablets.

Further information

The antiepileptic effects of phenobarbital are probably the result of at least two mechanisms: - Decreased monosynaptic transmission, which presumably results in reduced neuronal excitability and an increase in the motor cortex's threshold for electrical stimulation.

After oral administration of phenobarbital to dogs, the drug is rapidly absorbed and maximal plasma concentrations are reached within 4 - 8 hours. Bioavailability is between 86% - 96%. About 45% of the plasma concentration is protein bound. Metabolism is by aromatic hydroxylation of the phenyl group in the para position, and about one third of the drug is excreted unchanged in the urine. Elimination half-lives vary considerably between individuals and range from about 40 - 90 hours.

Marketing authorisation numbers

Epiphen 60 mg tablets:Vm 08007/4066

Epiphen 30 mg tablets:Vm 08007/4067

GTIN (Global Trade Item No)

Epiphen 30mg tablet

03605874090637

Epiphen 60mg tablet

03605874090644

Epiphen Solution 4% w/v, Oral Drops

Presentation

Oral solution.

A clear, colourless, slightly viscous liquid containing 4% w/v Phenobarbital

Uses

Phenobarbital is an antiepileptic agent for use in the control of epilepsy in the dog.

Dosage and administration

The required dosage will differ to some extent between individuals and with the nature and severity of the disorder.

Dogs should be dosed orally, starting with a dose of 2.5 - 5.0 mg/kg (0.06 - 0.125ml per kg) bodyweight per day. The dose should be divided and administered twice daily using the 2ml syringe provided. 1ml contains 40mg of phenobarbital.

Weight of dog

Volume of Epiphen Solution/day*

Dosage range mg/kg

1- 1.5 kg

0.1ml

2.7 - 4.0

2-3 kg

0.2ml

2.7 - 4.0

4 - 5 kg

0.4ml

3.2 - 4.0

6 - 9 kg

0.7ml

3.1 - 4.7

10 - 15 kg

1.2 ml

3.2 - 4.8

16 - 20 kg

1.6 ml

3.2 - 4.0

*The dose should be divided and administered twice daily.

Steady state serum concentrations are not reached until 1 - 2 weeks after treatment is initiated. The full effect of the medication does not appear for two weeks and doses should not be increased during this time.

If seizures are not being controlled, the dosage may be increased by 20% at a time, with associated monitoring of serum phenobarbital levels. The phenobarbital serum concentration may be checked after steady state has been achieved, and if it is less than 15 µg/ml the dose may be adjusted accordingly. If seizures recur the dose may be raised up to a maximum serum concentration of 45 µg/ml. High plasma concentrations may be associated with hepatotoxicity. Blood samples should be taken at the same time to allow plasma phenobarbital concentration to be determined, preferably during trough levels shortly before the next dose of phenobarbital is due.

Contra-indications, warnings, etc

Not for use in pregnant animals or nursing bitches.

Do not administer to animals with impaired hepatic function.

Special precautions for use in animals

Withdrawal of phenobarbital or transition to, or from, another type of antiepileptic therapy should be made gradually to avoid precipitating an increase in the frequency of seizures.

Special precautions to be taken by the person administering the veterinary medicinal product

In case of accidental ingestion, seek medical attention immediately advising medical services of barbiturate poisoning, or show the container.

Flammable, keep away from sources of ignition. Do not smoke.

Wash hands after use.

Adverse reactions (frequency and seriousness)

Occasionally polyphagia, polyuria and polydipsia have been reported, but these effects are usually transitory and disappear with continued medication.

Toxicity may develop at doses over 20mg/kg/day or when serum phenobarbital levels rise above 45µg/ml.

In the light of isolated reports describing hepatotoxicity associated with combination anticonvulsant therapy, it is recommended that:-

1.Hepatic function is evaluated prior to initiation of therapy (e.g. measurement of serum bile acids).

2.Therapeutic phenobarbital serum concentrations are monitored to enable the lowest effective dose to be used. Typically concentrations of 15 - 45µg/ml are effective in controlling epilepsy.

3.Hepatic function is re-evaluated on a regular (6 to 12 month) basis.

4.Seizure activity is re-evaluated on a regular basis

Use during pregnancy and lactation

In humans, mothers receiving antiepileptic medication have a 6 to 10% incidence of significant abnormality in their offspring. Neonatal sedation and drug dependence may occur if given close to term. Phenobarbital crosses the placental barrier and small amounts are excreted in breast milk. Therefore, phenobarbital is contraindicated in pregnancy and nursing bitches.

Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Phenobarbital will potentially reduce therapeutic levels of a wide range of drugs due to its inducing effect on hepatic enzymes.

Phenobarbital may reduce the activity of some drugs by increasing the rate of metabolism through induction of drug-metabolising enzymes in liver microsomes.

Use of phenobarbital in conjunction with primidone is not recommended as primidone is predominantly metabolised to phenobarbital.

Overdose (symptoms, emergency procedures, antidotes), if necessary

Overdosage may result in coma, severe respiratory and cardiovascular depression, hypotension and shock leading to renal failure and death.

Following the recent ingestion of an overdose, the stomach may be emptied by lavage.

The prime objectives of management are then intensive symptomatic and supportive therapy with particular attention being paid to the maintenance of cardiovascular, respiratory and renal functions and to the maintenance of the electrolyte balance.

Withdrawal period(s)

Not applicable

Pharmaceutical precautions

Do not store above 25°C.

Protect from light.

Store in tightly closed original container.

Any unused product must be destroyed in accordance with the Misuse of Drugs Regulations (2001). Any waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.

Legal category

POM-V CD(Sch 3)

Packaging Quantities

30ml presentation

amber glass vial of type II

polyethylene syringe applicator

medium density child proof polyethylene cap

2ml polypropylene graduated syringe

Further information

The antiepileptic effects of phenobarbital are probably the result of at least two mechanisms: - Decreased monosynaptic transmission, which presumably results in reduced neuronal excitability and an increase in the motor cortex's threshold for electrical stimulation.

After oral administration of phenobarbital to dogs, the drug is rapidly absorbed and maximal plasma concentrations are reached within 4 - 8 hours. Bioavailability is between 86% - 96%. About 45% of the plasma concentration is protein bound. Metabolism is by aromatic hydroxylation of the phenyl group in the para position, and about one third of the drug is excreted unchanged in the urine. Elimination half-lives vary considerably between individuals and range from about 40 - 90 hours.

Marketing authorisation number

Vm 08007/4081.

GTIN (Global Trade Item No)

Epiphen Solution

03605874090651

Need help or advice? Contact us:

  • Landline: 01582 842096
  • Freephone*: 0800 084 2608
  • Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Sat: 9:00am - 1:00pm
  • Email: support@viovet.co.uk

All prices include VAT where applicable. *The freephone number is free from most UK landlines only, mobiles are usually charged so we'd recommend calling our landline from your mobile or internationally.

Questions & Answers for Epiphen

Below are some recent questions we've received regarding Epiphen, including answers from our team.

Ask Your Own Question

Epiphen liquid , my dog hates the taste

8th Dec 2015
Margaret

My pup has 0.05 of liquid and hates the taste .
I've tried adding it to food but she's started to refuse to eat it . Trying to get it straight into her mouth from the syringe is a bit hit and miss . I'm worrying that she's not always getting the correct dose . Epiphen in tablet form only seems to be available in 30mg and 60mg is this correct ?

John Cousins
  • Veterinary Surgeon

There is a different brand of the same drug called Phenoleptil. This also has a veterinary license, the same as Epiphen. It comes in 12.5mg tablets and 50mg tablets. The 12.5mg tablets are very small and are normally easy to give to very small dogs. They can even be divided if needed, but this is tricky because they are very small anyway.

My dog was mis prescribed epiphen

11th Oct 2014
Aussie4

The out of hours vet mis prescribed epiphen as said my dog might have epilepsy but it actually turned out to be poisoning. She took three tabs at 60mg each but since taking has been raiding the kitchen bin, never done before and today she tried to hump my brothers dog, never had this behaviour before. Could even three tablets have had this effect it seems too coincidental to not have something to do with the drugs, she's a 16 month Labrador. Thank you

John Cousins
  • Veterinary Surgeon

Epiphen does often cause a slight increase in hunger. This might be exaggerated in a notoriously greedy breed such as a Labrador. It should soon wear off though. The attempted mounting of another dog is a bit more difficult to explain, but Epiphen does affect behaviour to some extent. Again I would expect this to be temporary, though Labs at 16 months often tend to get randy in fact. I do feel that any effects of the Epiphen will wear off over the next few days.

Overdose

22nd Jan 2014
Paula Isgrove

My dog was recently given the wrong dose by my vet of epiphen. Instead of 45mg daily she was taking 90mg. She was given 60mg tablets instead of 30mg tablets. She takes one 1/2 tablets a day. I was wondering other than the blood test taken if there is anything else the vet should have done. Her weight is 5.4 kg and her kidney results were a lot lower than they had been before my vet said this was not due to the pills but after what I have read I believe it is due to that and was worried about any permanent damage this dose could have caused! She had been issued 6 months of medication and was on this dose for 6 months.

John Cousins
  • Veterinary Surgeon

Some dogs appear to be more sensitive to Epiphen side effects than others. There are many dogs which have been on high doses for many years and not suffered any apparent ill effects at all. Some dogs will show signs of liver failure even if they are on a moderate dose for a year or two. Kidney damage is less likely. There is in fact no fixed correct dose, there is a dose range and they are given partly to effect, judging from the frequency of any fits which still occur, as well as blood levels of the drug. The truth is it is impossible to say if any permanent damage might have been done to your dog, but if there are no significant signs of damage now, I think it is extremely unlikely that your dog will suffer any ill effects now or in future. Essentially as long as you have got your dog onto the correct dose now and your dog seems fine now, then I would not be overly worried. Periodic blood tests to monitor for signs of liver damage are advised anyway for dogs on Epiphen (or any phenobarbitone medication). I would advise that you should do that test in no more than 3 months from now, then every 6 months in future. Other than that, I would not be concerned.

Dosage

14th Aug 2013
Samantha Foxall
  • VioVet Customer Since: June 2013
  • From: West Midlands, United Kingdom

my dog is on 2 1/2 tablets (60mg)twice a day. There is no scoring on the tablet which I believe indicates it should not be halved. Is this correct and are there any side effects to halving the tablet.
If this cannot be halved why has my vet recommended this dosage?

John Cousins
  • Veterinary Surgeon

Vets will sometimes suggest halving tablets to make it easier in some way, or cheaper to purchase medication. With Epiphen it is marginally cheaper to give half a 60mg tablet than a 30mg tablet, though not by very much. Possibly your vet was trying to be helpful, but you would have to ask him/her. Epiphen tablets are not intended to be divided and the company recommends using the smaller tablets, or the solution, if lower doses need to be given. This is more for accuracy of dosing than anything else. If the tablets are divided accurately, they should be safe and effective. Some people do divide tablets but it is not ideal. If you want to order 30mg tablets then we would be able to supply the appropriate number of tablets for you on your existing prescription, but first would have to get your vet's confirmation that this is OK by telephone. We cannot change the total amount (mg) of drug permitted on the prescription though.