How Much Does Phenobarbital for Dogs Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

Phenobarbital, the generic brand of Luminal, is a type of drug that is commonly prescribed for dogs that have been diagnosed with epilepsy.  Phenobarbital is usually prescribed for dogs since there are reports where 60% to 80% of epileptic dogs can be controlled effectively while using this drug.

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How much does phenobarbital for dogs cost?

The cost of phenobarbital for dogs will depend on the dosage, quantity and where you purchase it from.  60 tablets, for example, can cost $11 to $35, while 180 tablets can cost $30 to $110.  According to our research, where you had the drug prescribed would affect the price quite a bit.

GoodRX.com, for instance, lists the prices of phenobarbital at local pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, Target and Walgreens.  Their search engine allows you to search your local area and download their free coupon to help you save money.

According to the members on Pet Groomer Forums, one member said she paid $21.50 for a 60-day supply, while another said $35 for a two month supply.

On GoldenRetrieverForum.com, a member said she was recently quoted $90 for 200 64.8 milligram tablets, a $51 increase from the last time she visited the same pharmacy.  Members said the increase, at the time, was due to a drug shortage, and it was best to check out a warehouse club such as Costco.

Phenobarbital for dogs overview

Phenobarbital, often referred to as phenobarb or PB, is the most commonly prescribed antiepileptic drug due to its safety and effectiveness, according to scientific research.

Phenobarbital comes in the following dosage strengths as tablets:  15, 16.2, 30, 32.4, 60, 64.8, 97.2 and 100 milligrams.  A liquid solution is also available, coming as a 4 mg/ml dosage.  If by chance you hear your vet refer to the word “grain,” this simply means 65 mg, according to the Merck Veterinary manual.  When a doctor prescribes PB for the first time, they will consider a few factors, including the severity of the seizures, the frequency of these seizures, the weight and/or if your dog is on any other medication.  Because the dosage can take up to 14 days to enter the system, a “loading dose” may be used during this time to make the drug more effective.  According to canine-epilepsy.com, a vet will often take your dog’s weight and multiply it by two milligrams to figure out the dosage, but if your dog were to suffer from severe seizures, this dosage could be increased.

The tablets can come in the following quantities:  30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 tablets.

What are the extra costs?

Since phenobarbital needs to be prescribed by a vet and is considered a controlled substance, you need to factor in your vet fees such as office examination fees and testing.  For example, to make sure the drug is working, a vet will want to take a blood test about two weeks after the dog has been consistently taking the medicine.  This blood test will monitor the serum concentration levels to see how well the seizures are being controlled and it can also monitor the liver to prevent the risk of liver disease.  If on par, the dosage will stay the same, but if the blood results come back abnormally, then the medication will be adjusted accordingly.  These routine monitoring tests should cost about $75 to $125.

Tips to know:

According to clinical reports, 60 to 80 percent of epileptic dogs can be controlled with this drug.

Side effects, if seen, will normally be during the first few weeks of using the medication or when the dosage is increased.  These side effects, even though they are known to diminish over time, can include a loss of coordination, anxiety, amenia, excessive thirst, excessive urination and/or excessive eating.  Gaining weight, according to most veterinarians, is often the most common side effect when this drug is prescribed; therefore, it’s important to limit the dog’s extra food intake.

How can I save money?

Pharmacies will greatly vary with their price when dispensing this drug.  Call at least three pharmacies in your area to see what the pharmacies are charging.  According to some of our research, we had found that Costco often offered the cheapest prescription prices across the board.


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Average Reported Cost: $48

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Susan (Sapulpa,  Oklahoma) paid $29 and said:

    16.5mg twice a day at Walgreens. No discount given, cash price.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. pete (aurora,  Colorado) paid $20 and said:

    16.05 mg once a day

    Was it worth it? Yes

  3. Kate (Gilbert,  Arizona) paid $30 and said:

    16.5mg twice a day at CVS

    Was it worth it? Yes

  4. Kathy (Brighton,  Michigan) paid $32 and said:

    64.8mg twice daily at Kroger Pharmacy

    Was it worth it? Yes

  5. sasha paid $129 and said: said:

    64 by 100 tabs

    Was it worth it? Yes

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