Pharmacy Spotlight: Amitriptyline (Generic)
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Spotlight on Amitriptyline

  • Medication type: Tricyclic Antidepressant

  • Active ingredient: Amitriptyline

  • Dosage form: Tablets

  • Manufacturer: Qualitest® Pharmaceuticals

  • Major use: Used to treat behavior problems such as separation anxiety, noise phobia, and generalized anxiety in dogs and excessive grooming and urine spraying in cats.

  • How it works: Amitriptyline affects the central nervous system, minimizing the amount of stress perceived by the animal.

Amitriptyline (Generic) SUCCESS STORY:

Dog's Name: Roxi
SheltieBreed: Sheltie
Age: 3 years

Her story: Roxi has always been the focus of her female owner's attention. Frequent walks and games of tug-o-war were common daytime pastimes. Then a new job took the owner out of the home for most of the day. One week into this new routine, the owner would return late afternoon to find items of her clothing strewn everywhere. One day, when she discovered her favorite sweater chewed full of holes, she knew it was time to seek the help of a veterinarian.

Outcome: Testing was done to rule out underlying medical problems that could be contributing to the change in Roxi's behavior. Roxi was diagnosed with Separation Anxiety Disorder. The veterinarian explained that this condition affects many pets and, if left untreated, it gets worse with time, so it is a medical situation that cannot be ignored.

In Roxi's case, a few behavior modifications were suggested: a brisk walk before the owner left for the day, restricted access to places within the home, and several new toys to play with. In addition, Amitriptyline was prescribed. The veterinarian also made it clear that Roxi's inappropriate behavior was not due to the dog's attempt to "get back" at the owner. He encouraged patience – not anger – and a dedicated commitment to the plan of treatment because Separation Anxiety can often take weeks or months to reverse. Over time Roxi became accepting of her owner's routine, and she found ways of amusing herself that did not involve destroying her owner's wardrobe!

For full details on this medication, download the free patient information sheet.