Robenacoxib (Onsior®) for Dogs and Cats

Overview of Robenacoxib for Canines and Felines

  • Robenacoxib is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug used in dogs and cats. It belongs to the general class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other related drugs include Celebrex®, ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. It is one of the few drugs approved for use in cats. it is approved for use in cats for up to 3 days in the United States and for up to 6 days in the UK. Robenacoxib is not approved for use in dogs in the United States but is approved for use in other countries and is generally considered safe to use in dogs. 
  • These drugs suppress inflammation and pain in dogs and cats by inhibiting synthesis of the class of compounds called prostaglandins. These compounds interact with the cellular enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX), which falls into one of two primary groups. The first group, COX-1, is responsible for maintaining the function of platelets and kidneys and protecting the stomach lining from acids. The second group, COX-2, is responsible for producing the 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 use of an NSAID may leave the stomach and kidneys less protected. This effect depends on the degree to which either type of enzyme is restricted. For example, robenacoxib binds COX-2 at low concentrations and is considered COX-1 sparing.
  • Compared to other NSAIDs, robenacoxib is unique in that it inhibits the COX-2 enzyme in a nearly irreversible fashion at low concentrations, accounting for a long period (sometimes 24 hours) of pharmacologic effect.
  • Robenacoxib is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or with their authorization.

Brand Names and Other Names
of Robenacoxib

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

Uses of Robenacoxib
for Dogs and Cats

  • Robenacoxib is indicated for the control of pain and inflammation associated with orthopedic surgery in dogs.
  • Dogs may receive their first dose of robenacoxib 30 minutes prior to surgery as a one-time dose.
  • Robenacoxib can also be used for chronic pain management.

Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, robenacoxib can cause side effects in some animals.
  • This drug should not be used in animals with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug. It should be used with caution in animals that are dehydrated, those with a history of gastrointestinal ulceration or liver disease.
  • Robenacoxib is not recommended for use in pregnant or lactating pets.
  • This drug may interact with other medications including aspirin, enalapril, benazepril, digoxin, fluconazole, furosemide (Lasix), methotrexate, gentomycin, amphotericin B, phenytoin, valproic acid, sulfonamides, and corticosteroids. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with robenacoxib. There is an increased risk of NSAID-related problems such as bleeding or ulcers if other NSAIDs or cortisonelike 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, mild diarrhea, and vomiting.

How Robenacoxib is Supplied

  • Robenacoxib is available as beef flavored tablets in 5, 10, 20, and 40 mg tablets.
  • It is available in a 6 mg yeast flavored tablets for cats.
  • Robenacoxib is also available as an injectable formulation of 20 mg/mL.

Dosing Information of Robenacoxib
for Dogs and Cats

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • For dogs, the typical initial dose is approximately 0.5 mg per pound (1 mg/kg) orally every 24 hours with doses up to 2 mg/kg once daily. A clinical response is usually seen within one week. Long-term dosages are decreased to the lowest effective dose. The injectable formulation may be give at 1 mg/kg (2 mg/kg) subcutaneously approximately 30 minutes prior to surgery as a one time dose.
  • In cats, the typical initial dose is 0.5 mg per pound (1 mg/kg) orally every 24 hours with doses up to 2.4 mg/kg once daily for up to six days. A clinical response is usually seen within one week. The injectable formulation may be give at 1 mg/kg (2 mg/kg) subcutaneously approximately 30 minutes prior to surgery as a one-time dose.
  • Do not administer this medication with food to dogs. Wait at least 30 minutes before or after eating to give your dog robenacoxib. It may be administered with food to cats.
  • Do not crush tablets.
  • The recommended monitoring includes checking liver enzymes every 3 to 6 months.
  • 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.