Dec. 5, 2018 — A drug to treat dogs that are frightened by loud noises has been approved for use in the United States.

Pexion (imepitoin tablets) is for dogs scared by loud noises such as fireworks, street/traffic racket, and gun shots, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

Clinical trials show that the drug reduced noise-averse dogs’ reactions to fireworks. The drug was approved by the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and will be available by prescription only.

The drug is given to the dog twice daily starting two days before an expected noise event and treatment continues through the event.

The most common side effects were difficulty standing and walking, increased appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. But three of the 90 dogs that received Pexion in the trial became aggressive, including growling at a young child and lack of restraint or self-control towards other dogs.

The drug’s label information advises owners to carefully observe their dogs during treatment, the FDA said.

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