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Pharmacological particulars
Pharmacotherapeutic group: antiepileptics/barbiturates and derivates
ATCvet code: QN03AA02
Pharmacodynamic properties
The antiepileptic effects of phenobarbital are probably the result of at least two mechanisms, being decreased monosynaptic transmission, which presumably results in reduced neuronal excitability and an increase in the motor cortex's threshold for electrical stimulation.
Pharmacokinetic properties
After oral administration of phenobarbital to dogs, the drug is rapidly absorbed and maximal plasma concentrations are reached within 4-8 hours. Bioavailability is between 86%-96%, apparent volume of distribution is 0,75 l/kg and a steady state serum concentration is reached 2-3 weeks after start of therapy.
About 45% of the plasma concentration is protein bound. Metabolism is by aromatic hydroxylation of the phenyl group in the para position (p-hydroxyphenobarbital), and about 25% of the drug is excreted unchanged in the urine. Elimination half-lives vary considerably between individuals and range from about 40-90 hours.