Menu
pexion canine epilepsy

A New Treatment for Canine Idiopathic Epilepsy: Pexion

We recently wrote about canine idiopathic epilepsy, a form of epilepsy where the cause remains unknown. Today we are looking at a new treatment; Pexion.

The severity of epilepsy can vary greatly between individual sufferers. Some dogs may experience a single, isolated seizure, whilst other can experience multiple seizures every week.

Recently Boehringer Ingelheim has announced their latest product for the treatment of canine epilepsy, Pexion® (Pexion) an alternative to the traditional phenobarbital or potassium bromide treatments given to epileptic dogs.

Are you using Pexion?

If your dog has been prescribed Pexion, let us know how your dog is getting on in the comments below. Join the discussion and keep the community updated with your progress.

What Is Pexion?

Unlike other treatments for canine epilepsy, Pexion contains the active ingredient Imepitoin. Imepitoin acts in a similar manner to previous anti-epileptic medicines, potassium bromide and phenobarbital, in that it works to suppress electrical activity in the brain.

Imepitoin partially activates GABA receptors, which are responsible for reducing electrical activity between nerve cells. This partial activation of the GABA receptors is believed to reduce electrical activity and help prevent seizures. Specifically, Imepitoin also has a weak blocking effect on calcium channels that allow electrical signals to be propagated along nerve cells.

See here for more information about Pexion 

Does Pexion Work?

A study conducted on Pexion during its development compared it to the traditional anti-epileptic medicine phenobarbital. A 20 week study of 226 dogs taking the medications found Pexion matched phenobarbital in efficacy, reducing the occurence of seizures by around 50%. 1

Is Pexion a Better Alternative?

The Pexion study showed that it had an effectiveness equivalent to phenobarbital, however, Pexion may be considered a better alternative as it has less severe side effects.

Unlike phenobarbital, Pexion does not pose a hepatotoxicity risk (liver toxicity). This means the regular testing required to ensure that a dog’s liver remains healthy is not needed whilst being given Pexion.

Treating the Epileptic Dog

It is commonly cited that around 0.5 to 5% of dogs suffer from some form of epilepsy, the severity varying between breeds and individuals. In dogs where seizures occur infrequently  owners may consider not using any medication at all, avoiding the side effects associated with anti-epileptic medications.

In dogs where seizures occur more freqently, such as once a month or more, treatment should be considered.

The introduction of Pexion gives owners and vets a greater choice when it comes to treatment, but does not replace phenobarbital and potassium bromide.

Owners should consult their vet and explore all the possibilities when dealing with an epileptic dog.

Seizure Types That Require Immediate Veterinary Assistance

Cluster seizures – When multiple seizures occur in one 24 hour period
Status epilepticus – A persistent epileptic state that lasts for longer than 5 minutes

For more information about epilepsy, such as the causes, what to do during a seizure and more, see this article.

Disclaimer: This article was written as a response to the release of Pexion and as a follow up to a previous article concerning idiopathic epilepsy. I am not affiliated with the product (Pexion) or the manufacturer (Boehringer). 

Featured Image: Onkel_wart


About James Watts

BSc Bioveterinary Science. Editor of PetSci. When I'm not writing, learning, discussing, or reading about animals, you know it's the weekend! Currently developing PetSci HealthTrak, the fast and easy way to monitor your pet's weight and calorie intake. HealthTrak offers a simple way to track your pet's progress, helping them achieve a healthy weight and a long, happy life.

Check Also

rhodesian ridgeback JME

Myoclonic Epilepsy Gene Discovered in Dogs

A gene potentially linked to epilepsy has been discovered in dogs. A study investigated juvenile myoclonic …

Curly coat retriever

Rapid Decline in Male Dog Fertility Observed

Male dog fertility has drastically decreased over the past 26 years, a University of Nottingham study …

688 comments

  1. I was a young woman who has been living with Epilepsy for 8 years. When I graduated one year later from high school I had bad migraines which became seizures, which followed by uncontrolled seizures up to 7 a day and as years went on my life stop. I lost my first great paying job and was not allowed to continue college because of my seizures in class. As a result my license was revoke. And it got to the point where I stop living I was trapped in the house because various times I was robbed and treated badly. In 2005 I decided to have brain surgery cause the seizures increased, and my life started to changed although the surgery was great it reduced my seizures but did not take them away and I was able to return to school, and I graduated with honors, and I do what I love to do sing, and write. In 2013 i heard about Doctor Lawson from my sister for his miraculous herbal medicine, I was curious to know how it works. I contact him and then I made an order of his product, i used his herbal product for mouths, His medicine has change my health and worked perfectly well and i am cure from seizure completely, seizure free contact this http://seizurestory.blogspot.com/2008/10/seizure-free.html to no more about Dr.Lawson

  2. My dog has been on Pexion for 4 years. He has been having one a month this year which has changed to 2 in the space of an hour. He had a double one and then another the following morning. My vet told me to increase his Pexion by half but it was too much for him. My vet has now suggested giving him Keppra as well. Has anyone used this combination and what were the results.

  3. My 7 year old saluki has been having seizures for a year now. They started off with one seizure every 4-6 weeks at which time she was prescribed phenobarbitol. Another vet later moved her off the phenobarbitol to potassium Bromide. About 2 months ago the seizures increased to once every 2 weeks so the vet prescribed Pexion alongside the potassium Bromide. I’m hoping we’ll see a reduction in the frequency soon but my vet says there have been insufficient studies done on Pexion so far to be sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get smart with PetSci
Subscribe to our mailing list and receive occasional emails about the latest in the pet world.
Or find us on Facebook
For the latest articles, infographics, competitions and much more!