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Piroxicam (Feldene®)

By: Dr. Karin Szust

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  • Piroxicam belongs to the class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • These drugs relieve inflammation and pain by inhibiting synthesis of chemicals called prostaglandins.
  • Piroxicam also demonstrates effectiveness against fevers.
  • Piroxicam is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Feldene® (Pfizer)
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Uses of Piroxicam

  • Piroxicam has been used in combination with other drugs to treat transitional cell carcinoma, a bladder cancer in dogs.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, piroxicam can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Piroxicam should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Piroxicam should be avoided in animals with a history of bleeding, inflammation or perforation of the stomach or intestinal mucosa (lining). It should also be avoided in animals with high blood pressure.
  • This drug must be used with caution in patients with heart failure.
  • Piroxicam may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with Piroxicam. Such drugs include diuretics or ACE-inhibitors (enalapril, benazepril, quinapril).
  • Side effects of piroxicam include stomach and intestinal ulcers and bleeding, dark or tarry stools (from bleeding into the intestines), vomiting, loss of appetite and peritonitis (from intestinal perforation). Some of these are life-threatening problems and they can occur relatively suddenly.
  • The potential for ulcers increases when piroxicam is used in combination with corticosteroids (such as cortisone or prednisone), aspirin or phenylbutazone.
  • Piroxicam can decrease kidney function and cause a sudden severe injury to the kidneys (papillary necrosis).
  • Blood clotting may be impaired due to the effects of piroxicam on the blood platelets.
  • As with other NSAIDs, this drug can cause liver injury with elevation of liver enzymes in blood tests.
    How Piroxicam Is Supplied

  • Piroxicam is available in 10 mg and 20 mg capsules.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • For an anti-inflammatory effect, piroxicam is dosed at 0.15 mg per pound (0.3 mg/kg) every 48 hours.
  • To treat transitional cell carcinoma, piroxicam is dosed at 0.15 mg per pound (0.3 mg/kg) once daily.
  • 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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