Doxapram stimulates the medullary respiratory center and the chemoreceptors of the carotid artery and aorta to increase tidal volume. Other portions of the CNS are stimulated only when high doses are administered. Doxapram is used primarily in emergency situations during anesthesia or to decrease the respiratory depressant effects of opiates and barbiturates. Recommended dosages are 1–5 mg/kg, IV, in dogs and cats, or 1–2 drops under the tongue of apneic neonates. In adult horses, the dosage is 0.5–1.0 mg/kg, IV, while foals are dosed carefully at 0.02–0.05 mg/kg/min, IV.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by Patricia M. Dowling, DVM,MSc, DACVIM, DACVCP