Clinical use of an herbal-derived compound (Huperzine A) to treat putative complex partial seizures in a dog

Epilepsy Behav. 2009 Aug;15(4):529-34. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2009.06.011. Epub 2009 Jul 17.


A Bernese mountain dog was diagnosed with complex partial seizures that were supported by electroencephalographic findings. Clinical signs of the problem included "star gazing," fly snapping, licking, vacuous chewing, and ongoing anxiety. Treatment with Huperzine A, a compound isolated from Chinese club moss with NMDA receptor blocking activity, anticholinesterase activity, and anticonvulsant properties, produced useful suppression of the abnormal behavior for more than months. A relapse occurred when the dog was treated with tramadol for joint pain and the improvement that had been made was not recaptured with Huperzine A. At this stage, phenobarbital therapy was instituted and the dog improved greatly. The role of Huperzine A in controlling seizures is discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Blood Chemical Analysis
  • Diptera
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dog Diseases / psychology
  • Dogs
  • Electrodiagnosis
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / drug therapy*
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / psychology
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Sesquiterpenes / therapeutic use*


  • Alkaloids
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • huperzine A