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Deracoxib (Deramaxx®)

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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  • Deracoxib 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. Deracoxib binds COX-2 at low concentrations and are considered COX-1 sparing.
  • Deracoxib is unique compared to other NSAIDs in that it inhibits the COX-2 enzyme in a nearly irreversible fashion at low concentrations accounting for a long pharmacologic effect (24 hours). Deracoxib is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.

    Brand Names and Other Names

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

    Uses of Deracoxib

  • Deracoxib is indicated for the control of pain and inflammation associated with orthopedic surgery in dogs. Dogs may receive their first dose of deracoxib several hours before the surgical procedure. It is then continued for up to six days following the procedure. Deracoxib can also be used for chronic pain management.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, deracoxib can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Deracoxib 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. The manufacturer recommends that deracoxib not be used in dogs weighing less than four pounds (2 kg) or puppies under four months of age.
  • Since deracoxib has not been tested in cats, it should not be used in this species.
  • Deracoxib may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with deracoxib. 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 Deracoxib is Supplied

  • Deracoxib is available as 25 mg and 100 mg tablets. These tablets are formulated with a beef flavor and are chewable.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • The typical dose administered to dogs is 1.5 to 2 mg per pound (3 to 4 mg/kg) every 24 hours orally. Deracoxib may be administered with or without food.
  • 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.

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