Firocoxib (Previcox®)

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  • Firocoxib is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug. It belongs to the general class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other related drugs include Celebrex®, ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen.
  • These drugs suppress inflammation and pain by inhibiting synthesis of the class of compounds called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are elaborated by the cellular enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX). COX enzymes are divided into two primary groups. One group, COX-1, is responsible for maintaining the function of platelets, kidney function and protecting the stomach lining from stomach acids. The other group, COX-2, is responsible for producing pain and inflammation associated with trauma or tissue damage. Most NSAIDs affect both types of prostaglandins. This means that in addition to reducing pain and inflammation, the protective function of the prostaglandins on the kidneys and stomach are also affected. Firocoxib binds COX-2 at low concentrations and are considered COX-1 sparing.
  • Firocoxib is a prescription drug drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
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    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in animals only.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: Previcox® (Merial)

    Uses of Firocoxib

  • Firocoxib is indicated for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in dogs.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, firocoxib can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Firocoxib should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug. It should be used with caution in animals that are dehydrated or those with kidney disease, heart disease or liver disease.
  • Since firocoxib has not been tested in cats, it should not be used in this species.
  • Firocoxib may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with firocoxib. Such drugs include aspirin and corticosteroids. There is an increased risk of NSAID-related problems such as bleeding or ulcers if other NSAIDs or cortisone-like drugs are given at the same time.
  • Few side effects have been reported upon initial testing of the drug. The most common side effects are anorexia and vomiting.

    How Firocoxib is Supplied

  • Firocoxib is available as 57 mg and 227 mg tablets. These tablets are chewable.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.
  • The typical dose administered to dogs is 2.27 mg per pound (5 mg/kg) every 24 hours orally. Firocoxib may be administered with or without food.

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    About The Author

    debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

    Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.