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Side Effects of Medications for Anxiety in Cats

3 min read



The treatment for serotonin syndrome is based on keeping the cat stable and sedate. If caught early enough (within 30 minutes), substances like activated charcoal may be given orally to try to reduce the amount of drug the cat can absorb into its system. If your cat is stable enough and it is caught early on, your cat may be made to vomit, or stomach pumping may be done to eliminate the drug from the body.


Signs of this condition will slowly diminish over 24 hours. During this time, your cat will need to be watched closely. Drugs may be given to counteract the serotonin in the body and reduce seizures if they are severe. All medications that are known to increase serotonin levels will be stopped, and supportive care (e.g., intravenous fluids) will be given. If treated quickly, this condition is less likely to cause death.


Living and Management


Care must be taken when giving an animal medications that are known to affect serotonin levels in the body. Do not give these medications along with foods that contain L-tryptophan (e.g., dairy products, turkey, red meats, bananas, peanut butter).




Medications that will lead to increased levels of serotonin in the body should not be given to cats that are already taking an antidepressant medication. Your veterinarian should be aware of all medications being given and choose the drug combinations carefully.

Image: Sergey Peterman via Shutterstock


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