Potassium Bromide

Gaynor Borade May 13, 2019
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Potassium bromide or KBr, is a salt which used in the manufacture of sedatives, and works as an anticonvulsant. However, the use of this drug for humans and animals has not been approved by the FDA. This write-up provides information regarding the same.
Potassium Bromide is used as an antiepileptic medication for canines and felines. It is a white crystalline powder which is soluble in water. If consumed in a high concentration, it aggravates the gastric mucous membrane.
This brings on a feeling of nausea; however, this effect is observed in all soluble potassium salts and is not only recorded for the consumption of this drug. Potassium bromide serves as a source of bromide ions. This helps in the manufacture of photographic film, which is treated with silver bromide.

Medical and Veterinary Uses

The anticonvulsant properties of this drug are most exploited by the medical and veterinary fraternities. It is used as an effective medication for epilepsy. This drug is also used to treat the condition of clinically proven epilepsy in dogs.
It is used either as a first-line or additional treatment when phenobarbital does not adequately control the seizures. In case of felines, its veterinary use is limited because it is observed to cause lung inflammation.

For Humans

Potassium bromide is not an FDA approved drug to control seizures in humans. However, in some places it is used as an antiepileptic drug, particularly for the treatment of children and adolescents displaying severe forms of generalized tonic-clonic seizures.
The use of the drug is continued in the case of adults who have reacted positively to the drug during childhood. It does not interfere with the absorption or excretion of any other anticonvulsant that may be in use.

Side Effects

The therapeutic index is very small for bromide since it gives rise to intoxication. The side effects include loss of appetite, nausea, lethargy, depression, loss of concentration, headache, pathologic reflexes, loss of neural sensitivity, abnormal speech, and aggressiveness.
The use of this drug is also associated with the development of acne-form dermatitis, mucous hypersecretion in the lungs, and worsening of asthma and rhinitis. Cases on record, minimal though, also claim tongue disorder, bad breath, and obstipation.

For Animals

The absorption, distribution, and speed of metabolism can vary among dogs, and in the case of canines, there is always a published dose recommended as a general guide. An average dose is 20 mg to 30 mg per kg of body weight, once a day. The veterinarian adjusts the dosage based on blood levels and the extent of seizure.
To determine the correct dose, it is good to monitor its level in the blood. Any change should be made on the basis of the actual concentration in the blood. The vet is expected to collect a single sample within a week of the loading dose to check the therapeutic levels.
Drug companies should seek FDA approval of potassium bromide for use as an anti-seizure drug to treat dogs. This will ensure that the drug is manufactured according to accepted quality standards and are safe and effective to treat seizures in dogs.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.