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 …


  1. My staffy x has been on Pexion now for about six months, after being on phenobarb for two years. No discernible side effects and she’s been seizure free. the only slight difficulty with Pexion is that the pills are much larger than the phenobarb pills, so it’s not so easy to give them to her. Otherwise, no problems at all, although the overall cost of the medication is about two hundred dollars a year more than the phenobarb/blood test routine.

    • Hi Chris
      My dog has been on phenobarb for over 2 years now. I am considering switching to Pexion. How did you do this switch? I understand the switch has to be made gradually

      Many thanks

      • They only recommend swapping to Pexion if you have problems with the med they are already on. Pexion should only be used after consideration of other meds first, not as a first choice.

        • My Border Collie has been diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy and Pexion was the preferred drug offered by my vet & vet hospital over other options.

  2. My Chocolate has been under medication on phenobarb and pexion for almost 2 years. His condition becomes more stable and controlled. I want to thanks so much of my Vet introducing pexion to me.

  3. My Pomaranian is on Pexion for 10 months now, and he’s given 2 times 200 mg a day. He had several seizures before we started medicating him, because the seizures were rather mild when he started. But then the seizures came quicker and we started with Pexion.
    At that point, when he got a seizure he had clusters of 4 seizures within 24 hours. He never had clusters before. My vet neurologist added Levetiracetam, and now he is almost 4 months seizure free. We are going to try to ween him off the Pexion now.

    • My Springer clustered from the beginning and was put straight on Pexion. She went two months seizure free and the next clusters were slightly less. They upped the meds and we went 28 days and the next clusters were within minutes of each other but had reduced from 4 to 2. They upped the Pexion to 600mgs twice daily and added Keppra. So far we’re a few days short of 3 months seizure free. I’m not looking to reduce or change anything at the moment as this is the longest she’s gone.

  4. My Beagle, Daisy, is 8 years old. She had her first seizure at 6 yrs old, when she had a cluster of 5 within 36 hours. Each one left her very distressed, panting, crying and wanting close contact with us, but unable to settle. She would come to us then wander away for a few yards and immediately come back again for reassurance. This would sometimes last for more than an hour before she would eventually settle down and rest.
    The vet put her on Epiphen and she was fine for 6 months before she had another cluster. These seizures seemed more severe than the first cluster and the vet increased the epiphen from 1 1/2 to 2 tablets twice a day. The next cluster came after only 3 months at which point the vet added Pexion to her medication. She has (thankfully) had no more seizures since, but last year she became really ill and was diagnosed with pancreatitis. We now feed her a really low fat diet (Not that she was given a fatty diet before) but wanted to cut down on the Epiphen if possible because we feel that this is what causedf the pancreatitis. The vet however, says that Pexion is just as toxic as Epiphen. We really don’t know what to do for the best. She is not underweight, but is forever searching for food. She will do anything to reach anything edible, including quick snatch manoeuvres if you look away for a few seconds…..even a cup of tea…..or a pair of leather gloves. She has always been a bit of an opportunist, but has become so determined since being on the low fat diet. Any suggestions on the way forward?

    • Dear Anne
      A natural thing to use to help protect the liver is Milk Thistle, get it in a tincture and use half the dose for med and small dogs and full dose for larger dogs. It is completely natural but run it by your vets first. Good luck.

    • My Springer has been a disaster with food since being on Pexion. She’ll get into the bin bags, will jump at the kitchen surfaces to get food off a plate, and will bark constantly if not getting anywhere. She also steals food off our lab if she can. She’s also more thirsty. She is overweight so is on a diet but stealing food doesn’t help with the weight management. It’s my understanding that Pexion doesn’t cause the damage the most of the other drugs do so I’m not sure why your vet is saying its toxic. Since adding Keppra alongside the Pexion she’s had no seizures for three months. She clustered from the start but Pexion was the vets preferred choice even though it’s not been trialled in dogs that cluster. It might be worth getting a second opinion with the meds but the hunger is definitely a side effect.

      • my dog is on EPILEASE KBR does anyone else have any dogs on this? and how do they find it? my dog seems to fit once a month

        • Hi Carole – I have some Epliease that I’m not using – please email me and I can send to you if you are UK

        • Hello Carol.

          Shani is on kbr but she is oalso on phenobarbital and gabapentin. When the kbr was added she became very ataxic, nauseous and occasionally vomited. But giving it twice a day, always with food and separately from the pheno she has done wel on it. She is now 37 weeks seizure-free.

          It may br that your dog’s dose might need increasing a little.

    • I was told that out of all the Epilepsy tablets on the market Pexion was the safest as it is supposed to go straight to the head unlike others that go through the organs. That is why they must not give them with a meal as they will sit in the food instead of travelling to the head. My 5 year old Westie has been on these since December 2016 & other then an increased appetite he has had no side effects, although he has had a few fits since being on Pexion & is now on a low dose of Epiphen. My vet recommends that my dog has a blood test twice a year to watch out for any organ damage since he is now on .

      • Sarah, sorry but the going straight to the head is utter rubbish. I hope it wasn’t your vet that told you that. All medication will be processed through an organ in the body. Pexion is no where as safe as they would have you believe! I run a canine epilepsy Fb group and we have so many dogs that have been made much worse after being put on Pexion, some have been saved by stopping it and putting on Pheno, while others have died before that can happen. Some vets are refusing to prescribe it now. It was a drug that was originally going to be a human epilepsy med and when that didn’t work they decided to use it for dogs. It apwas only tested on a very few dogs and for a very short period of time before being launched onto the market. I would never recommend it now.

        • Thanks for that Faye I will defiantly be questioning my vet. You say you run a Facebook epilepsy site can you give me the details so I can join thank you. X

        • Hi Faye, I agree with your report about Pexion, my Pug has been on it for 3 years and im desperate to get him off it now, he has started showing signs of ataxia.. it’ll be his little Liver, Kidneys & Heart next 🙁 I have ordered some CBD Oil after quite a lot of research.. do you have any experience of this? Many thanks

        • Hi Faye
          Do you still run the Facebook group, I ve been struggling with my miniature schnauzer and cluster seizures for the last four and a half years and would like any help suggestions over and above what we ve a.ready tried with our vet.

  5. my 17 week old whippet has just had 3 seizures over the course of 2 weeks, 2 of which within 36 hours. The vet immedicatley prescribed 100mg Pexion x 2 per day based on his weight, nutritional supplements x 2 per day and emergency diazepam in case of another seizure. He has been on this medication for 4 days now. The main side affectes are increased hunger, thirst, excessive weeing and hyperactivity. I’m hoping that these side affects will settle in time which according to the drug information they should. He has so far not had another seizure but I find it hard to see these changes in him. Other than that he is just his normal lovable self.all of these side affects are however nothing compared to his seizures and at least aren’t causing potential harm so i’m very thankful for that.

    • Pexion is a good starting point but not recommended for clusters. Have you had tests to rule out shunts or infections . Seems very young . I have 5 whippets and Bo developed epilepsy after a vaccination. Love to you and your pup
      Please join Blu Tale foundation group on Facebook

  6. My 4 year Westie has had mild fits since October 2015 he has been on Pexicon for a month now & he has had his first fit since taking Medes this morning.

  7. Sarah, is that good or bad? How often were they happening before starting meds? Was it the same as before or more severe?

    Are you pleased or unhappy about it?


    • When Bailey started having fits they came about one every two to three weeks,I didn’t even recognise them has fits as he didn’t collapse or shake he just ran around disoriented & then sat down for about five minutes looking dazed & confused after about ten minutes he was fine. It was only when I read about epilepsy in dogs that I realised the symptoms were the same & I took him to the vets. The vet advised me to monitor him & if he had more bring him back. Over Christmas 2015 he had two more attacks he had been having them on & off for about three months now. I waited until his next fit before taking him to the vets as I was reluctant to put him on medication after hearing bad things about one of the tablets used to treat epilepsy with this episode of epilepsy he had sickness that lasted three days he wasn’t voluntary being sick he was eating grass to make himself sick. Whether or not this was related to epilepsy I don’t know so I took him to the vets were he put him on anti sickness tablets & told me about Pexicon. My dog took to it well with no side affects other then being extra hungry & more lively,he didn’t have a fit for over 4 weeks when he had one yesterday morning although the whole episode lasted about ten minutes it seemed slightly more severe then before as the shaking was worse.

  8. I have 3 dogs. When I get up in morning they all expect to be fed. I feed two and give other her pexion tablet. She has to wait half hour before eating her breakfast and gets a bit distressed waiting.
    Can I give her her tablet earlier than half an hour as could do this without disturbing other dogs?

    • I’ve never been told to leave it half an hour. I’ve always given to her in her food. She wouldn’t take it otherwise. She’s been seizure free for over 4 months now.

      • I was always told to,give Pexion on an empty stomach so always gave it an hour before I fed my dog.

        • My springer would be going mad if I made her wait that long. She’s very good orientated and she knows the time as asks for breakfast. It’s the first thing I do when I get up. I’ll take a look at the leaflet as I’ve honestly not been advised to wait before eating. I’m not sure what difference it makes but as we went from clustering to where we are now I’d be nervous if changing the routine.

        • I was told not to give Bailey his tablet on a full stomach because the tablet will sit in the food instead of travelling straight to the brain, he can take the tablet either in a treat or piece of ham or cheese but not with a full meal. He can’t have anything to eat an hour before his tablet & I think half an hour after.

  9. According to the neurologist it’s no big deal to give Pexion together with his food. I always crush the Pexion and give it in my dog’s food. No problem.

    • That’s good to hear. Thank you. ?

    • You just do what works for you dog.

      My dog did really well on Pexion for two years, regularly going 6 months without seizures, but after two years it stopped working so we had to swap him over to Phenobarbital.

      • She’s been on Pexion since July and they added Keppra 5 months ago. With no seizures for 4 months I’ve reduced the Pexion by 200 on each dose. What’s nice is that she seems more with us. Her eyes aren’t as glazed and she doesn’t look beyond us now. It’s also reduced her thirst. I’ve also managed to get her to lose some weight even though Pexion caused her to become hungry all the time. The vet was anxious about reducing it but again sometimes you have to follow intuition.

      • Here the same. Pexion is not working for my dog after 1 1/2 year. He got a cluster yesterday, after being seizure free for 4 months. Now the seizures come every month, gm, and focal seizures every 2 weeks. At this moment i’m waiting for an answer from the neurologist, which meds we must give to decrease the amount of seizures. Very disappointing.

      • Couldn’t agree more, every single dog is unique and the epilepsy is different in every one. A healthy Raw diet and natural remedies such as Bachs rescue remedy stand side by side with conventional remedies. Working with your vet slowly adjusting medication to find what works for your dog. My wonderful vet helped all she could, even with prescription costs by letting me buy my meds from Petdrugsonline that are nearly half vets prices. Unfortunately my furbabies epilepsy was so aggressive we lost the battle when she was nearly 4 years old, a 3 year battle that was worth every day with the best behaved and most beloved border collie Izzy.
        Good luck all of you trying so hard for your dogs, I feel for you with all my heart, remembering the delibilitating fits. Xxx

        • I agree with your comments about a raw diet Amanda. My dog has been on raw for 3 years and I’m sure this helps control his epilepsy, as it can’t be good to feed kibble full of additives, colours and preservatives.


  10. We have a Bassett hound he started having seizures at the age of 2 gradually they became more frequent and he was having a fit every month. We held back on medication until one fit lasted 2 hours and we did not think he would. Come out of it. Our vet prescribed pexion half tablet in a morning half at night so far no fitting after a week he seems to be drinking a little more but no other unusual things happening so far.

  11. Hi my shitzu sassy has just started with the pexlon and i see by your comments their appetite has increased? Well sassy seems to of decreased and shes off her food is this normal she only been on them a couple of days but shes right off her food just wondering if this is normal could anybody advise me please

    • Hi Angela, I must admit I haven’t heared anyone else mention their dogs loosing their appetite & it’s not one of the side affects listed so I think if it carries on you should definitely have it checked out by the vet. I know at the beginning of treatment the vet needs to know as much information as they can get as this is a new drug they might not have the dosage right. So it is worth visiting your vet I case he needs to adjust the dosage or maybe give another madication to work alongside the Pexion. Hope this helps please keep me updated.

    • yes my dog has lost his appetite too since starting Pexion. Not sure if it is loss of appetite or nausea

  12. Started using pexion about 10 days ago on Bob the springer spaniel. He was put on this as he suffered fits during excercise on 2 occasions 2 months apart. Since he has been on pexion I can’t even walk him for 10 minutes without him stumbling like he is drunk. After 3 minutes on the park this morning he fell over and I had to carry him back. This only happens during excercise never at home. Does anybody have any advice please

    • Sorry I just need to ad. This is now happening every day

      • How old is he?

        • He is 6 years old

          • It is normal.. We give our dog pexion and food Early in the morning.. Then he sleep for 1 hour. If we don’t do it that way he will go around like he is drunk.

            Our dog had her first seizure when he was 5 and it came as ofte every 2 weeks. On pexion it has went well for 3-4 month. Now it is every 3 weeks and our vet tell us to up the dose for one week and then back. That help it to like “resete” . We so glad for pexion.. He is not seizure Free but it by far not that often he has seizures and it has become more soft the seizures. Our dog is allmost 9 years old and we don’t feel he has changed or is affected by the epeleptic.

            Hope you Guys feel the same as we do.

    • Hi Paul,

      My Springer has had weakened back legs since she started Pexion in July last year. I notice it more when she’s running around and it’s worse if she jumps in the back door or runs up the stairs. I’ve noticed separately that her joint pops in and out of the socket when walking, which I know is something different, so that might be the cause rather than the Pexion. It’s still early days though and the side effects may start to wear off. I would go back for advice though as it may be that Pexion isn’t the right medication. There are many different types to try. The other main side effects are excessive drinking and hunger but each dog is different. I hope the effects become minimal but do seek advice.

    • Hi Paul, whatever his age is, it’s not normal that a dog can’t walk for 10 minutes without stumbling after he is put on Pexion. Believe me, even with Pexion, this is not a normal behaviour. I would go back to your vet and let him examine another time, maybe even better, ask for a second opinion.

      • We did go back to our vet who advised waiting for at least half an hour after his tablet before we walk him. That makes no difference. We are going to try him without the tablets for a day or two to see if he improves.

        • You must NOT stop the tablets unless advised by the vet. This could trigger just the opposite effect and cause clusters. There are few medications for epilepsy where you can just stop it for a day or two without risking increased seizure activity and that is potassium bromide (aka kbr, Libromide, Epilease). The lameness could be a completely separate issue and I think your vet is just appalling in his response. Time for a new vet or at least a second opinion.

          • Thanks for your advice it’s just hard not to try things. He’s had 2 seizures 2 months apart and now since the tablets he is collapsing every day after a 5 minute walk. He had a better life not being treated. All you seem to get from the vets is that he’s on the right dosage and we should walk him normally and treat him no differently.

          • My boy has his tablet at 8 am and I would not consider taking him anywhere until at least 10.30am. Around about 9 am he is very dopey and just falls asleep. Having said this reading all comments etc I would definitely get a second opinion

          • That actually reassures me slightly. I’ve not tried walking him at a later time. I will give it a go.

          • One other thing that has come to mind , do you give him his tablet on an empty stomach and wait for at least half an hour before giving him his breakfast?

          • Yes I always give him them on an empty stomach.

          • Paul, I do understand the wanting to try things. My dog, Shani, a miniature Dachshund, is my fifth epileptic so I really do understand. But messing with the medicaiton is one thing NOT to try. Saying that, I would be wanting to try a different medicatition. It can take a long time to get the mix of meds right – it took me 18 months to get Shani to a fairly steady rate of fits. With a third added a logn time later she is now 48 weeks since her last seizure.

            I would strongly recommend joining and talking to people worldwide who face epilepsy all the time with their dogs.

          • Hi jean, thanks for the advice. I just find it really frustrating. The first vet we saw at the practice after bob had his fit just gave him Valium and sent my wife home. I then went into see him and advised I wanted more than that so they gave him blood tests. The blood tests came back all clear of liver problems etc. We then asked what the next step was and we were advised to write down in a diary of when the fits happen. Again I didn’t settle for this as I advised him the dates of the fits. He then shrugged his shoulders and said he must be epileptic and put him on pexion. Since the tablets he can’t walk for more than 5 minutes at pace. He is gone around the house. I then went to see the main vet at the practice on Monday night who advised try taking the tablets at different times. These vets are not filling me with confidence I’m even doubting there diagnosis. This is why o wanted to try him off the pexion for a couple of days

          • There are many causes of fits but most vets don’t start a dog on any AEDs (anti epilepsy drugs) unless the fits have been within six or eight weeks apart.

            The information about withdrawal of the drug states that it is not applicable:


            So one can assume that there is no withdrawal period. So, in light of that I would go against what I originally said, especially as Bob has not been on the drug for long then I would withdraw, observe carefully and see what happens.

            If he continues to have seizures then ask for a different medication. If the rear-end weakness continues then you have a separate problem and that needs attention.

          • Hi Jean, took him out this morning without pexion and he looked like a different dog. I only took him for 5 mins but that is the longest he has lasted for a long time. I am going to ask for a different medication. And just to clarify all his legs went not the rear. Thanks for your reply

          • Hi Paul.

            Sorry, I should have checked back. All his legs going sounds like the ataxia that you ge wat the start of most epilepsy medications. You are likely to get the ataxia with all of them for a couple of weeks. If you get potassium bromide (Shani has it in the form of Libromide), I would advise dividing the medicaiton between morning and afternoon and always give with food.

            I am so pleased he is more like his normal self this morning.

          • Thankyou so much! I have just googled antaxia and saw a dog on YouTube! That’s just what bob is like. I can’t believe how much help this forum has been. The annoying thing is, is that I showed my vet a video of bobs balance going and he just said that’s epilepsy! Time for a new vet!
            Again thankyou I’ve actually got a smile on my face knowing what’s wrong with my boy. And now I feel confident I will get him sorted

          • I’m so pleased that the forum has helped you. All the best with a new vet and to you and Bob too. ?

          • Pexion is the one epilepsy drug that you can just stop without weaning. It says that in the Eiropean Medicines Agency Report on Pexion and I know many people who have just stopped it and the i creased seizures from the Pexion have stopped immediately.

        • Hey Paul. How are your dog’s back legs now. We’ve got the same with our corgi xxx – she was on Pexion and we were advised to up the dose if she did not stop having seizures – and ever since then her back legs just conk out on her. Luckily they seem to get going properly again after a couple of hours – but then the same happens after the next dose. It’s terrible for her and us.

  13. Hi, thanks for your reply. His appetite and his thirst has increased. It’s just horrible to watch him lose control of his legs

    • Paul, I would see another vet as soon as possible for a second opinion. That appetite and thirst increased is a normal reaction on Pexion, but losing control of his legs NOT! Please, go see another vet.

    • All epilepstic drugs can do this at the beginning

  14. Annoyingly my response disappeared but the back legs not working isn’t right and may need further tests being done. It’s also possible that your dog is having smaller seizures that are not as noticeable so again needs input from the vet. It might simply be that the meds aren’t right. Since the vet added Keppra I’ve been able to reduce the Pexion to 400mgs twice a day, she’s been cluster and seizure free since November, so I reduced Pexion a couple of months ago. Keppra is a human medication so a lot cheaper to purchase too. There are of course many others but it may take a while to tweak the dosage and find what’s right.

    • think we may try a different vet

      • Definitely worth a second opinion. I saw your reply to another post and would advise not to stop the medication without advice as that could bring on a seizure. It’s better to wean off whilst another is started. Please be careful.

        • Thanks again for your advice.

          • You’re welcome. Please let us know how you get in and an update on how your dogs doing? ?

        • Get an opinion from a second vet, when you’ve got the new meds keppra is good, then start reducing the pexion.
          Good luck, if you are in Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire try Ambivets they where brilliant with my dog.

  15. My dog is 9 and has been having seizures for the 9 years. He had seizure maybe twice in 3 weeks. He was put on 3 tablets a day 100mg of pexion. But an hour after he takes the pexion he has a seizure so now he seems to b having more seizures on the medication. Can this happen with pexion

    • Yes, that can happen. Before the medication is effective you have to reckon with a couple of hours. I thought 3 or 4 hours before Pexion gets its full efficacy. Correct me if I’m wrong. So from now on, the seizure have to be much lesser then before, If not, consult your vet.

  16. Hi!
    I am the very proud owner of an extremely handsome and loving blue Staffordshire Bull terrier called Blu (original I know) we discovered he had epilepsy at about 14 weeks old! We originally treated him with phenobarbital and this totally stopped all fits but defo gave him an upset stomach and all stools where very messy and obviously where not how we all wanted the foreseeable future! So we swapped him on to the Imepitoin at advise from our vet. The stomach problems ceased! However he does fit again! Almost every other day when subjected to bright sunlight on a morning walk or general over excitement in bright light! Not bad lasting fits but his left eye closes and he raises his poor to his eye and then tenses right up for a minute or so. He knows when it is going to happen because he runs back to me immediately prior and I can see he is scarred in his eyes 🙁
    I hold him gently till it passes (30 secs-2mins) then he jumps up and goes on with his walk!! I currently give him 1.5 tablets in morn and same in the evening. Can you recommend a solution to stop him fitting altogether? I would love to stop the fits but also not destroy his organs in the process????
    Thank you

    • Jean Collinson

      Nick, there is no way to stop the fitting altogether, unless the problem is not idiopathic epilepsy and the main cause of the fits can be dealt with.

      It sounds as if Blu might have developed eilepsy after his puppy vaccinations.

      My Shani has been epileptic since she was born, as was her sister. Whilst we have good control with a mix of meds we certainly haven’t stopped the fitting altogether. She is not on Pexion, never has been.

      Di you give the pheno with food or on its own? That MAY be a way to sotp the nausea.

      I love blue Staffies.


    • I give my boy Omega 3,6,9 which I am sure really helps. He weighs 18kgs and has a 400mg of pexion twice daily. He originally started on 200mg twice daily but was still fitting and my vet increased his dose. With this dosage and the Omega he fitted twice last year. Could be worth a try and talk to your vet about increasing his dose. I buy the Omega from Treasure your Health on the net.

    • Amanda Kirkman

      Dear Nick,
      If you want to rule out physical issues you need to ask your vet to do a brain scan to see if there is a reason for the epilepsy. If it is idiopathic then I would recommend signing on the website where dog owners who have and are living with epi pets pool their information, it also helps support you. A natural diet, bachs rescue remedy and simple things like using a bag of frozen peas during fits and covering the face with a towel make a difference in lessoning the severity of the seizures. We didn’t realise until it was too late how high the temperature in the brain went during a fit which can lead to more damage. Covering the face reduces the brain activity further, and just sit at your dogs back keeping them safe in clear, quiet area. It is trial and error with epi dogs, read up all you can on natural remedies- if vet prescribes bromide use milk thistle tincture to protect the kidneys.
      Good luck, hoping you find something that works for your dog- it is so stressful and upsetting but you are not on your own and you can only do your best.
      Kind regards
      Amanda x

    • You will never stop seizures completely. Epilepsy meds just reduce the frequency.

  17. Kayleigh Adams

    Our Labradoodle tired pexion 600mg twice daily but didnt really help, since then we have added Epiphen 90mg twice daily… we have seizures down to 3/4 weeks exactly the same as before we started the medication, however the side effects from the epiphen are getting worse… and she is weeting herself through the night… i dont know what our next step should be… any advice???

  18. Hi, I have an 8 year old lab who has been on Pexion for 2 years, he has just been diagnosed with type 1 kidney failure, does anyone know if this medication affects the kidneys?

    • They say that it doesn’t but when you give medication it has to come out the body somehow so I would imagine it could be processed to a degree through the kidneys. Speak to your vet about adding a supplement of’milk thistle tincture’ this is a natural way to help protect the kidneys.
      Good luck

    • I was told by my vet that Pexion bypasses the organs & goes straight to the brain & that is why I agreed to use it, although I know it is a new drug & there is still at lot to know about it I am hoping what I was told is true. I am sorry to hear about your fur baby & hope all will be well.

    • Jenny Shoemaker

      Just seen your post regarding the kidneys. The information I have read up on recently was that tests showed a “mild elevation” in creatinine and cholesterol levels in dogs treated with pexion but these did not exceed the normal reference ranges. My dog was tested for SDMA and creatinine levels some 2 months ago and her levels were over in SDMA and just over on creatinine. In the meantime she has had an increase in pexion because she was not well controlled seizure wise and at that time I also put her on a kidney support food. I am now horrified to learn that her test last week for both SDMA and creatinine have gone up quite a bit and from the internet information she could now be in the 2nd stage of kidney failure. My vet phoned the maker of pexion and they advised that their warning that it should not be used in dogs with severely impaired hepatic function or severe renal disorder is because it has not been tested in these cases. I am not convinced. It is noted in the European Medicines Agency that the signs were reversed after a 6 week recovery period ie after pexion was stopped. I feel that although her seizures have been reduced with the increase in dosage, I have no option but to request a change of medication.

  19. My Springer Spaniel lost her fight to Epilepsy on the 1st June just before her 5th birthday. She went into status epilipticus, having clustered from diagnosis July 2015, and the vet did everything but after an hour and a half of continuous seizures we had to call it as didn’t want her suffering anymore. She was on Pexion as the vets first choice of medication and Keppra was added at a later stage. Pexion has not been trialled properly in dogs that cluster and I would urge anyone to challenge the vets decision if Pexion is to be given for clustering. Pexion in itself is a wonderful drug for other types of seizures but until further long term trials have taken place another medication may be more suitable. She had been seizure free for 7 months until the day prior where she had 3 small seizures close together. The 1st June came as a huge shock to us and I did everything I could prior to the vet ambulance arriving, as I had recalled the information on this site, but nothing would work. The vet was fantastic and my little girl has now crossed over the rainbow bridge and will be missed greatly.

  20. I run a FB epilepsy support group and we specialise in Pexion. Unfortunately while some dogs do respond well to Pexion, many are made worse by it, with some dogs dying after going into Status which the vets could not bring them out of and others having a dramatic increase in Seizures often going from single seizures to increasing cluster seizures.Other dogs experience very strange and worrying side effects. Once they stop Pexion seizures decrease rapidly and the side effects disappear. Some of these side effects are continuos coughing making it hard for the dogs to breath. One dog was in constant pain and crying on moving around, again both of these stopped once off Pexion. This is a drug that was tested on a very small number of dogs before being approved. The other thing is that lots of vets are ignoring the criteria for prescribing Pexion as laid down in the European Medicnes Agency EPAR. “The EMA publishes an EPAR for every medicine granted a central marketing authorisation by the European Commission following an assessment by the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). EPARs are full scientific assessment reports of medicines authorised at a European Union level.”

    • My Westie was prescibed Pexion when she developed fits. The vet kept up ting her dosage and my dog was getting worse. Against the vets recommendation I withdrew my dog of the drug quite quickly as I felt either she would die or I would have to have her put down as she had no quality of life and was very distressed. She has now been fit free nearly 3 years on 30mg of Epiphen twice a day and is a happy, healthy dog ?. Would also like to point out that Pexion was very expensive compared to Epiphen.

  21. My dog a chocolate lab who was 1 year old when he started to have seizures. The vet put him on pexion due to his age but he had more seizures on this drug. had 4 seizures in one night .Then one morning he had a very bad reaction bad seizures pin pointing etc. it was very upsetting and we thought we had lost him but after a few nights at the vets and started on a different medication he is a different dog . He will be 4 soon the seizures are becoming less and now is a healthy dog . Too spoilt to be a anything less .

  22. Our Maltese X “Marco” had seizures from the day we adopted him from the rescue center. He would have these approximately 3-6 weeks apart and would only last at the most 2 minutes, so he was not on any meds for siezures. Earlier this year the seizures were up to 3 a week and a little more draining on him so he was put on Pexion. He did still have one or two seizures so the dosage was upped and he was fine for a couple of months. In the last 2 weeks he has had a mild episode and an upset stomach.
    With Pexion he has some days where he is absolutely ravenous and even begs for food and is a lot more thirsty. Before Pexion he was difficult to feed. He has been on Pexion for almost 4 months and his weight has increased from 5kg to 5.7kg.
    Marco on some days is totally confused and looks like he is in a trance… we need to call out to him to snap him out of it. Today he was really distressed, gurgling stomach and clingy and had some twitches like he was about to have a seizure.

  23. My Westie started fits when she was 3 years old. She was put on Pexion straight away. The fits got worse so the dosage kept being upped but so did the fits. I felt the tablets, which incidentally are very expensive, we’re making her worse and finally my vet said she would give her epiphen as well. The vet wouldn’t take her off the Pexion but I am afraid I ignored her as I felt I knew my dog better. I decreased the Pexion until she was off and my Westie improved greatly. Told the vet and got my wrists smacked but then she agreed perhaps it didn’t suit my dog. Maisie is now on 30mg of Epiphen twice a day and has been fit free for 3 years now. She is a happy normal dog ?. Glad I went with my gut instincts.

    • Very good that you followed your guts. My dog started to cluster on Pexion and the vet neurologist put him on potassium bromide and levetiracetam. From the moment hè was weaned off Pexion we noticed the change of caracter that my dog had. Now he’s his old self again, no clusters anymore and he’s doing very well on his medication.

      • Senga has had her first cluster of 4 fits one after the other which lasted for total of 15 minutes. I advised the vets I wished her to be taken off Pexion and put on epiphen which we are in the process of doing. Starting slowly. She was on Pexion for nearly 2 years. However the combination of cluster and her raised kidney enzymes means I have insisted. Started on low dose of 30mg x 2 per day. She is 30kg dog and is on 600mg pexion in morning and 400mg in evening. Ataxia has increased hugely, but I expected this as this had developed on increase of pexion dosage about 3 months ago. Having her theraputic levels checked on Monday and I expect them to be low so when increasing epiphen I will be looking to reduce Pexion right down. Please see Faye Gordon’s post above from 22nd June. Pexion should not be prescribed as first line med.

  24. My kitten was 4 months when he started having seizures 2- 3 seizures per day. We started him on Phenobarb that did not really help unless we increased the dose dangerously high. Out of desperation, we started him on Pexion a month ago. The seizures have decreased to only 2 seizures the entire month and he has shown minimal side effects compared to Phenobarb. We are weaning him off the Phenobarb now and so far he is doing great on the Pexion

  25. Has anybody out there with a pet on Pexion (or other related drugs) noticed a correlation between exercise and fits?

  26. Has anybody found their dog to have itchy skin on Pexion ? He does not have fleas or alergy problems and this has only been a problem since he’s been on Pexion

    • Interesting that you should ask that. My dog is on pheno, she has never been on Pexion, but many years ago, when she started on pheno, she became terribly itchy. Since then I have heard of other dogs becoming itchy. It seems to increase the possibility of an allergy. In my dog’s case, one flea bite out on a walk gives her a flea bite reaction indicative of a massive flea infestation. When the result of an allergy test came back with that reading, the lab re-tested at their own expense. She had seen three different vets in the practice and no-one could find a reason for the itching so she definitely was not infested with fleas. Turns out one flea bite brings on this reaction.

      Your dog may well be allergic to Pexion or it could be somethning like my dog. Check the Patient Information Leaflet to see what it says.

      • Nelson the Ridgback

        Hi we have a 6yr old Ridgeback who clusters, trial and error he is now on 180ml of pheno x2 aday and 1.000ml epilease, he is always hungry and drinks like a fish and can pee a river every time, he will fit at the moment every 8 weeks hoping this might change running the epilease with the pheno,i have recently noticed his back end dips when brushing im guessing thats the epilease, if he does fit then he has to have kepra for 48hrs 3 tabs every 8 hrs we have him tested every 4 months for toxicity he is also on steroids to stop the itching,reading everyones view point on pexion I might just mention it to the vet, our boy is not the best after his pheno in the morning but hey you open the fridge door and he is right there, I think we will try the milk thistle now he is starting to rattle as he walks ,Ps his fits came on after being attacked by two labs off the lead, if he dreams a lot we know he due for a fit hope this helps anyone.

  27. My 18 month old retriever started having focal seizures 6 months ago; initially on 400mg twice daily. Seizures worsened to full fit & he has been increased to 2x400mg twice daily. After two weeks on this dose further focal seizure. As he seems to need additional meds in evening when fits occur. We have opted for 2 and a half tablets 400mg at night and1 and a half tablets in morning. On review of pexion sites forums it says to spread dose evenly twice a day. Can anyone give any advice on if they have experienced any issues with changing dose in this way

    • Hi there – we also started on one pill in the morning and one at night. Then were advised to go to two pills morning and night when the one stopped working. Two were horrible – our poor Fudge kept falling over and was completely out of sorts – then I decided to try half a pill every 3 to 4 hours and this seems to work a treat – mostly. She now goes 3 weeks between seizures (she’s almost 9 years old and started getting fits early this year). I make sure that we never have more than 4 pills per day. Sometimes I give her a whole pill in the evening and then she goes 6 or 7 hours on it. I think you have to do what works best for your dog.

  28. My young border collie suffered her first seizure at 20 months. She had a further seizure a couple of months later followed by severe cluster seizures around September 2016. She was initially put on pexion, then keppra added. At New year she suffered 8 further seizures within 8 hours and had to go to the vet school where she was kept for 36 hours. She is now on phenobarbital and keppra. At the moment she is very wobbly, barks at walls and I am incredibly worried about her. She is such a lovely dog but I don’t feel there is going to be a happy outcome for her and am agonising about what to do for the best. Since coming home she is still having partial seizures and unless out walking is either sleeping, agitated or cuddling into me.

    • Go on website it is a website offering help and advice by vets as well as epi dog owners. A problem shared and help with natural ways to deal with seizures too. You could also look into having a brain scan done too – talk to your vet. I hope you have a better outcome than I had, I lost my collie at 3 and a half – her seizures increased gradually until she had upto 30 two weekends running culminating in stays with my vets but ultimately it had damaged her brain as the seizures increase body temperature. Sending much love and hope to you and your furbaby.

  29. Lillian Batchelor

    Anyone having trouble giving dogs tablets should consider meat paste their best friend. Dogs love it and don’t even notice the tablet inside!! My Cavalier King Charles is on pexion I think it’s good the fits are rare now thankfully.

  30. My cavalier has only just begun with Perino, 4days ago but his appetite has gone mad. He wants food all the time. Is this a side effect for this medication.

  31. nani my 6 year old staffie started fitting 18 mths ago and is on pexion. he usually fits every 3 weeks and once went 6 weeks but never longer than that. I have just changed vets and been told the fits are too frequent so now as well as 3 x 400mg pexion he has to have epilease twice daily. I will let u know if this helps but it is all very expensive when there has been no change in his condition. in between episodes he is fine and fit only lasts 2 mins but then it did before he was put on the pexion

    • Hi Nicola our Ridgeback was having cluster fits so to cut a long story short we eventually got him settled after a year with epiphem and epilease at present he has gone 11 weeks with out a cluster fit, he has 120g epiphen twice a day and 1000g epilease with a meal at night. one draw back at present is his back legs are weaker due to epilease and he drinks like a fish but he likes a walk and he loves life.

  32. My dog, Diago, has become worse since being on Pexion. We sought a second opinion and a second vet has stopped his treatment of Pexion and is now trying to control his epilepsy which was completely out of control since taking Pexion. Six full blown epileptic fits in less than an hour, which never happened before he went on Pexion. Not to mention all the other fits during the day, which never happened before. Today he seems more himself and hopefully we can rid him of any Pexion which may still be in his system.

  33. After having had two fits and showing my vet the video of second one, the think he has idiopathic epilepsy. He is a 3 yr old fit and active border collie. We started him on pexion on Monday evening at 7 pm, later that evening he had a very mad hour, running round with toys, barking for attention, he stole a glove and destroyed it. All out of character as he usually lies in front if log fire. We thought maybe it was just because he was rested after sleeping after the fit., he had his morning tablet, went for a walk and had his breakfast yesterday. He seemed ok when we checked on him in day but were at work. Yesterday evening we had a repeat of the abnormal behaviour, he was nuts, running round, barking, looking for food – barking at his food bin. . Took his bed out and threw it round in the rain. Eventually we put him in the kitchen in the dark and he went quiet after 10 mins.

    Has anyone else seen this sort of behaviour? Going to see what next 2 days are like then contact vet.

  34. My 4 1/2 year old Border Collie, Watson had one fit in November 2015 and then nothing until September 2016. Since then he has had 19 fits. Vet diagnosed idiopathic epilepsy and started him on Pexion 400 mg twice daily in November 2016; we noticed various side effects immediately i.e. excessive thirst and hunger (stealing the cat’s food which he’d always ignored) and for a dog who was once admired constantly for his obedience and good behaviour; he is (since starting on Pexion) the complete opposite – won’t come when he’s called; barks constantly at nothing and is generally badly behaved. He also sleeps far more than before. We stopped the Pexion after 2 weeks however he started to cluster fit and the vet reintroduced Pexion 100 mg twice daily. This worked and there were no fits for 2 1/2 weeks. He started fitting again on 1 January 2017 and after clusters for a couple of weeks the Pexion was raised gradually and he is now on 400 mg twice daily again. We’re really not happy about him being on drugs of any kind and reading some of these posts it’s quite worrying that vets do not seem to be doing their homework – just prescribing Pexion as it’s a ‘new drug’.

  35. Our golden retriever started on pexion one week ago (two tabs daily). He has not had another attack since but his senses seem to of been heightened, he was never a greedy dog but his nose is in everything now. He also seems to be going off more to see other dogs!

  36. I am the only person that can see through what is currently happening with Pexion. For a long time it has been making many dogs epilepsy worse and to a dangerous point including death. Now when it is making seizures worse vets are adding in other epilepsy meds which are known to be effective and then mispraculously the dogs have seizure control. Call me stupid but why not stop the Pexion and just use the other med? After all it is that other med that is controlling the seizures not Pexion!

    • You have a point there Faye one that I may question my vet about. My 5 year old Westie started to have mild attacks over a year ago I didn’t even connect Epilepsy with his condition after a visit to the vet he diagnosed him with idiopathic epilepsy. He went on to tell me about a new drug called Pexion & that unlike other epilepsy tablets these bypass the organs & work directly with the brain so they wouldn’t cause any organ failure,they worked for a few months Bailey was only having 2 minute attacks every couple of months but then he had a few in a couple of weeks so the vet decided to introduce Epiphen & now he to have two blood tests a year to keep a check on his organs. The thing is I never thought to question why he just didn’t increase the Pexion dosage to see if that worked because as soon as he started taking the Epiphen his fits practically stopped the last one being last November. It makes me question now whether the Epiphen will work just as well on it’s own I will have to look into that. Thank you for opening my eyes. I know it might be the case that the combination does work best for Bailey & he goes back on it but at least I can try.

      • My Jack Russell was on phenobarbital and potassium bromide for about 5 years, on this regimen he was having a seizure about once a month. Then a routine liver function test suggested some drug induced damage. Vet suggested gradually reducing phenobarbital and replacing in with Pexion, initially his seizures increased in frequency then settled. However, after about 3 months on Pexion he began to act in an excitable way, then he got twitchy, his lips would curl back in a momentary snarl, then the seizures increased in frequency and duration. Upshot was he was immediately taken off Pexion (unlike other meds, Pexion can be stopped abruptly) Although Pexion does not cause liver damage we could not continue to use it. Back on his former drugs regimen he is fine, back to having a seizure every 4 to 6 weeks.
        I’m wondering if the drugs trials for this medication was thorough enough, however, it does seem to work well for some dogs.

  37. My golden retriever boy started taking Pexion 400mg 1/2 tablets twice daily after his seizures started to increase (didn’t have cluster seizures). He has been on Pexion for 1year now and only had one seizure (small fit compared with his previous ones) since he started the medication. We are very pleased!

  38. We started our 6 year old on pecuon 2 1/2 weeks ago. We have been weaning her off phenobarbital and had just reduced the phenobarbital by a 1/2 in the evening. This morning g she had a fit which was the worse we had seen since starting her on phenobarbital 5 years ago. It was a full fit for 30 minutes but lasted an hour and she vomited 3 times. Not sure if pexion takes a while to work but we will have to consider going back on old meds if this isn’t one off

    • Why did you change the old meds? Pexion should work within a few hours. The fits your dog had, were extreme. I’m afraid that Pexion is not the AED for your dog and give her her old meds. You can wean her off the Pexion really quickly. Please, get rid of the Pexion and go back to her old meds.

    • Hello Kerri
      From the advice our vet gave us
      Reducing the Phenobarbital by that much was quite a big step, we were told to reduce by steps of an 8th over weeks.

      Pexion did not suit our dog, the vet wanted us to change to Pexion because phenobarbital is, eventually, toxic to the liver and our dogs liver function tests were showing signs of this.
      However, Pexion made him worse and we had to go back to phenobarbital
      If I were you, that is what I would do
      The good news is that Pexion can be stopped immediately there is no weaning off period. Good luck

    • Hi Kerri, my 5 1/2 year old Westie started having fits over a year ago they wasn’t severe but they were distressing he was having one every two to three months when the vet put him on Pexion he was fine for a couple of months then he had about four in three weeks the vet then decided to add another tablet Epiphen & he hasn’t had a fit in six months. Sometimes the vet has to work out the right dose so you may have to go back & see what he says although I understand that all dogs are different & Pexion may not work. So give it a bit longer if no improvement ask vet but if you are still not happy ask to change medications. Good luck. X

  39. On administering Pexion for the first and second dose, within the first hour we saw these side effects: ataxia in back legs for at least 4 hours, polyuria, polydipsia, polyfagia, restlessness, confusion, excessive panting, anxiousness, gurgly stomach, and not sure who we are. How long are such symptoms expected to last – do they subside?

  40. My little cross terrier has moved to Pexion about 4 months ago which reducing the phenobarb. For the first two weeks she was on only Pexion she was have mild seizures almost every day. Had blood tests done – phenobarb but her white cell count is also low. She is currently on Pexion 100 twice a day and I have now added 15mg of phenobard to stop the seisures. This seems to work but worried about the low white cell count caused by the phenobarb.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.