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quick help pls, Valium side effect?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Mushroom went to the vets this morning and I took some Valium with me for the car ride back. The Vet gave her 1/4 and she was ok in the car on the way home. Since we've been home, (ust over an hour) She has the opposite effect of what I assume Valium is supposed to do and I cant find any info about it online. She's walking around in circles, although not in a straight line, her back legs are weak. She is constantly meowing really loudly, like she's actually been over stimulated rather than relaxed. I am hoping it will wear off soon, has anyone else experienced this!?
p.s she was really hungry when we got back - like she had the munchies!
post #2 of 15
Diazepam (Valium)

http://74.125.47.132/custom?q=cache:...gl=us&ie=UTF-8

Quote:
Precautions and Side Effects


While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, diazepam can cause side effects in some animals.

Diazepam should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.

Diazepam may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with diazepam. Such drugs include cimetidine, propranolol, narcotics, barbiturates, digoxin and certain antibiotics.

Diazepam can cause sedation and disorientation in animals; they may become uncoordinated and weak.

In some animals, however, diazepam causes the paradoxical drug reaction of excitement.

Although rare, diazepam can cause a severe liver problem in cats that can be fatal. This adverse effect should be carefully considered before administering diazepam to cats, especially on a long-term or recurrent basis. If a cat taking diazepam becomes excessively depressed, vomits, stops eating or becomes jaundiced (yellow) while receiving diazepam, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately.

Diazepam should not be administered to animals long-term without discussing the potential for side effects with your veterinarian. Long-term treatment also can lead to dependence that could bring undesirable behavior changes once the drug is discontinued.

Diazepam is a controlled drug because it has high abuse potential in people. This drug, if prescribed for animals, should be carefully monitored and kept in a secure location.

Possible side effects mentioned in The Pill Book Guide to Medication for your dog and cat:

Quote:
Common: drowsiness, mild lack of coordination, and in cats, increased appetite.

Rare: excitement, aggression, bizarre behavior, and in cats, liver failure.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
hmm I guess now I know she has Hypersensitivity to it... she's still going, poor thing has to wait for it to wear off.
post #4 of 15
Make a note of what you're observing now, keep the note, and make sure she never, ever gets another dose of this medication again for any reason.
post #5 of 15
I have had two cat that were given valium injections in the past for anorexia. They both got very hungry, but also over stimulated. My vet at the time said this was a more common reaction in cats.

What I have found that works best for my kitty that gets anxious in the car is rescue remedy rubbed into the ear just before being put in the carrier, plus feliway spray for the blanket in the carrier and sprayed in the car.

This keeps my one who pants and has full blown kitty anxiety attacks in the car calm and quiet. I tried this on a whim, figured it couldn't hurt. Never believed it would work as well as it did.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet View Post
Make a note of what you're observing now, keep the note, and make sure she never, ever gets another dose of this medication again for any reason.
thank you I will
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet View Post
Diazepam (Valium)

http://74.125.47.132/custom?q=cache:...gl=us&ie=UTF-8




Possible side effects mentioned in The Pill Book Guide to Medication for your dog and cat:
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post

What I have found that works best for my kitty that gets anxious in the car is rescue remedy rubbed into the ear just before being put in the carrier, plus feliway spray for the blanket in the carrier and sprayed in the car.
Wow Rescue Remedy, that is a great idea! Mushroom has never responded to a feliway diffuser, but I might get the spray next time to try that also, thanks!
post #8 of 15
If Mushroom is still acting odd, I would call the vet ASAP and just make sure this reaction is "normal" and they don't want to see her again.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
If Mushroom is still acting odd, I would call the vet ASAP and just make sure this reaction is "normal" and they don't want to see her again.
thank you, the vet has said it's normal for alot of cats, wish I knew this beforehand! he has said to put her in a dark room until it wears off, which is what I have now done. Stressful morning!
post #10 of 15
Ok, that's good to hear I hope she settles down soon. How does she react in the carrier to need valium and how long is the drive to the vet?
post #11 of 15
It's not unusual, in small doses Valium does not act as a sedative for cats. It's often used as an appetite stimulant for kitties that don't want to eat.
post #12 of 15
My cat was on this b4 as well....I think I gave him 2 dose then that was it...He went nuts ...couldn't even walk right and fell down the stairs...I called the vet and THEN they told me that happens at times....I was like gee would have been nice to know b4 hand..but never again will I give my cat valium
post #13 of 15
One of my fosters was given diazepam this year as an appetite stimulant, but they failed to warn me of the side effects, he wasn't fully back to normal 12 hours later when I went to bed ,and was still slightly dopey the day after, but the first 6 hours or so were hell, i had to sit in the bathroom with him as when he wanted to walk, he was just falling all over the place, i managed to get him to sleep on my knee but i would never give a cat that again.
post #14 of 15
Since your post about your cat's weird reaction to diazepan was dated some time ago, by now you've seen that the symptoms have disappeared. However, a LOT of people give tranquilizers to pets without consulting a vet about the proper dose, possible reactions, etc. Many people aren't even aware that 500-100mg of acetaminophen (Tylenol®), which is a normal human dose, if given to a cat proves fatal in 85% (or more) instances. I am posting this in the hopes that it will give cat lovers some guidelines about diazepam and related drugs. I am not a veterinarian, but I AM a R.Ph. (Registered Pharmacist) and fill scripts for animals and compound special meds for them quite frequently.

First off, there is a group of drugs that first appeared in 1960 called "benzodiazepines," or "benzos" in med-speak. They are all minor modifications of the original benzo, chlordiazepoxide (Librium®), and all have the essentialy identical effects and side effects. Where they differ is in times for onset of desired effects, duration of effects, and clearance from the body. The benzos are used very frequently in animals as well as humans, mainly because (over a short period, four months at most) they are VERY effective and safe; it's almost impossible to overdose on benzos unless they are mixed with alcohol or sedating narcotics.

The main benzos in use today in animals are chlordiazepoxide (Librium®), diazepam (Valium®), and lorazepam (Ativan®). Occasionally a vet will use alprazolam (Xanax®) or clorazepate (Tranxene®), but clorazepate is rarely used even in humans today, and alprazolam (Xanax®) should have been taken off the market by the FDA years ago because of its high abuse/dependence risks (more on this later).

Among the three benzos used by vets, lorazepam is prescribed at least ten times more often than the other two. Chlordiazepoxide is VERY slow (4 hours or more) to take effect orally and is actually converted to diazepam and several other active chemicals in the liver. Oral lorazepam typically takes about 2 hours to reach maximal effects, but it has a very short "half-life" and no active metabolites; its effects disappear 8-12 hours after a single dose. Diazepam is VERY fast acting orally; effects begin in about 15-20 minutes and reach their peak within an hour. However, due to its chemistry (way too involved to go into here), a SINGLE dose typically "wears off" in 3-4 hours. However, it has several active metabolites (chemicals which have the same effect as the parent drug, sometimes even stronger) that persist in the system for 100-150 hours. This is why a person taking diazepam daily will notice it seems to work a little better each day until it reaches "steady-state" in 7-10 days. It is used when very quick, brief sedation is desired (pre-op, dental procedures, etc.) However, because it does remain in the system a long time, if a subject (human or cat) has some unexpected bad reaction to it, it may take several days to clear up completely.

ALL BENZOS, IN HUMANS AND ANIMALS, HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE A PARADOXICAL EFFECT. THE SUBJECT BECOMES AGITATED, "HYPER," AND OFTEN ASSAULTIVE ("VICIOUS" IN CATS), AS IF THE SUBJECT HAD TAKEN A LARGE OVERDOSE OF AMPHETAMINES (Adderall®, Vyvanse® & others) OR METHYLPHENIDATE (Ritalin®, Concerta® & others). This is actually quite rare, occurring in about 1-2% of humans (not sure about cats). Also, all benzos increase appetite (moreso in cats than people), so you may notice Garfield emptying his food dish much quicker and still wanting more. For this reason, chlordiazepoxide is often given to malnourished or emaciated cats like those found where there are 20 or 30 in a single house, basically neglected.

For diazepam, the typical dose for cats is 0.5 to 1mg for every pound the cat weighs. (My Maine Coon weighs 22 lbs. and would need a 10mg tablet.) Benzos should NEVER be given to a cat younger than one year or older than 10-12. Standard dosage for lorazepam is 0.1 to 0.25mg per pound of weight; chlordiazepoxide is usually prescribed at 2-4mg per pound.

Again, these are drugs which have been in use since the early 60s and are still very frequently used because they ARE effective with few adverse effects (compared to, say, barbiturates). The exception is alprazolam (Xanax®), which is active for such a short time (3-5 hours, 6 at most) that multiple doses are required daily, and patients using the drug for extended periods of time or at the dosages recommended for "panic attacks" very often suffer a "withdrawal" effect between doses, and start taking it more often than prescribed or increasing the dosage, and become seriously dependent, psychologically AND physically. In short, what we used to call "addicted." (Suddenly stopping ANY benzo that's been taken for 7-8 months or longer, especially at high dosages, CAN BE FATAL IN HUMANS. A slow detox over many months is required.)

Your cat's reactions are not uncommon, nor serious or permanent (but very frightening to the owner!). Make certain your vet knows the cat's response; chances are lorazepam will be a much better choice.
I realize this is a LONG post, but I hope it will provide some basic facts and guidelines for cat lovers, because the benzos ARE used very frequently in domestic mammals.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabasco View Post


For diazepam, the typical dose for cats is 0.5 to 1mg for every pound the cat weighs. (My Maine Coon weighs 22 lbs. and would need a 10mg tablet.) Benzos should NEVER be given to a cat younger than one year or older than 10-12. Standard dosage for lorazepam is 0.1 to 0.25mg per pound of weight; chlordiazepoxide is usually prescribed at 2-4mg per pound.

 

THANK YOU Tabasco!  I knew from my vet tech friend that Lorazepam was prescribed for cats.  I gave my cat (approx. 7 lbs.) a 1 mg dose last night to calm him.  He had the unusual reaction of becoming more excitable, walking funny--like he was drunk, and eating large amounts of food like he was starved, and just acting WEIRD.  I thought I had overdosed him.  It's been 20 hours since this dose and its effects are slowly wearing off.  I'm relieved to hear that I gave him the typically prescribed amount for his weight.  Thank you for posting!

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