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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Romifidine is a drug that is used in veterinary medicine as a sedative mainly in large animals such as horses,[1] although it may be used in a wide variety of species.[2][3] It is not used in humans, but is closely related in structure to the commonly used drug clonidine.

Romifidine acts as an agonist at the α2 adrenergic receptor subtype. Side effects can include bradycardia and respiratory depression. It is often used alongside other sedative or analgesic drugs such as ketamine or butorphanol.[4][5] Yohimbine can be used as an antidote to rapidly reverse the effects.


  1. Spadavecchia C, Arendt-Nielsen L, Andersen OK, Spadavecchia L, Schatzmann U. Effect of romifidine on the nociceptive withdrawal reflex and temporal summation in conscious horses. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 2005 Nov;66(11):1992-8. PMID 16334961
  2. De Lucas JJ, Rodríguez C, Marín M, González F, Ballesteros C, San Andrés MI. Pharmacokinetics of intramuscular ketamine in young ostriches premedicated with romifidine. Journal of Veterinary Medicine A. Physiology, Pathology, Clinical Medicine. 2007 Feb;54(1):48-50. PMID 17359455
  3. Belda E, Laredo FG, Escobar M, Soler M, Lucas X, Agut A. Sedative and cardiorespiratory effects of three doses of romifidine in comparison with medetomidine in five cats. Veterinary Record. 2008 Jan 19;162(3):82-7. PMID 18204032
  4. Corletto F, Raisis AA, Brearley JC. Comparison of morphine and butorphanol as pre-anaesthetic agents in combination with romifidine for field castration in ponies. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. 2005 Jan;32(1):16-22. PMID 15663735
  5. Kerr CL, McDonell WN, Young SS. Cardiopulmonary effects of romifidine/ketamine or xylazine/ketamine when used for short duration anesthesia in the horse. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research. 2004 Oct;68(4):274-82. PMID 15581222