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Flunixin (Banamine®)

By: Dr. Nicholas Dodman

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Overview

  • Flunixin belongs to a general class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other related drugs in this class include aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen. These drugs are capable of reducing pain fever, and inflammation.
  • Flunixin's chemical name is 2-(2-methyl-3-trifluoromethylanilino) nicotinic acid.
  • NSAIDs, like flunixin, work by inhibiting formation of body chemicals called prostaglandins.
  • In modulating the inflammatory response, flunixin reduces redness, swelling, heat, and pain associated with tissue damage. It also has antipyretic activity.
  • Its clinical effect is apparent ~ 15 minutes after intravenous injection and 1-2 hours after intramuscular injection
  • Flunixin is available over-the-counter but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in horses and cattle only.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: Banamine® [a.k.a. Finadyne®] (Schering-Plough), AmTech Flunixin Meglumine® (Phoenix Scientific), Equileve® (Vetus), FluMeglumine® (Phoenix Pharmaceuticals), Flunixamine® (Ft. Dodge), Flunixin Meglumine [generic] (Butler).

    Uses of Flunixin

  • Flunixin is primarily used to treat pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders.
  • It is also used in the postoperative period to reduce pain associated with surgical procedures.
  • To combat intraocular prostaglandin release pre- and post ophthalmic surgery
  • To decrease a fever.
  • As a component in the treatment of shock, particularly endotoxic shock in dogs.
  • As a topical anti-inflammatory agent in the treatment of acral lick dermatitis.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, flunixin can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Flunixin should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug. Great caution should be exercised if there is a history of untoward effects caused by using other NSAID's.
  • Flunixin should be avoided in animals with liver, kidney, heart, or blood abnormalities.
  • Flunixin should also be avoided in animals with gastrointestinal disorders, including ulcers.
  • The most common adverse effects associated with flunixin are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and lack of appetite.
  • Stomach ulcers and kidney impairment are possible with flunixin.
  • Flunixin may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with flunixin. Such drugs include aspirin, other NSAIDs, corticosteroids, warfarin, heparin, and aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as gentamicin and amikacin.

    How Flunixin Is Supplied

  • Flunixin meglumine 50 mg/mL – supplied in 100 mL and 250 mL bottles.
  • Flunixin is also available as an oral paste or in a granular form, but these preparations are rarely used in small animal practice.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • In dogs, flunixin is dosed at 0.25 to 1.2 mg per pound (0.5-2.2 mg/kg) intravenously (IV) every 24 hours (typically for no more than 3 days). Flunixin can also be administered at the lower end of this range (i.e. 0.125 to 0.25 mg per pound [0.25-0.5 mg/kg]) IV every 12 hours for 1 - 3 treatments.
  • For topical use on acral lick lesions, 3 ml of flunixin can be mixed one bottle of Synotic® and applied to the lesion two to three times daily.
  • In cats, flunixin is dosed at 0.125 mg per pound (0.25mg/kg) IV once, or every 24 hours for two doses.
  • The duration of administration of flunixin 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 appears to be doing better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.




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