Deracoxib

By Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM

Medications

What is deracoxib?

Deracoxib (brand name Deramaxx®) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used in dogs after surgery to reduce the pain associated with surgery (e.g., orthopedic and dental surgeries) as well as for the treatment of osteoarthritis, and other painful conditions or injuries.

How is deracoxib given?

Deracoxib is available as an oral chewable tablet. This medication should be given with food to reduce possible gastrointestinal side effects. If you pet acts sick or vomits, contact your veterinarian.

This medication will take effect quickly, in about 1 to 2 hours, and improvement of your pet's signs should follow.

What if I miss giving my dog the medication?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule.

Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Are there any potential side effects?

Like other NSIADs, deracoxib can affect the gastrointestinal tract with side effects including diarrhea (most common), vomiting, lack of appetite, and weight loss. While extremely rare, some dogs can have more serious side effects. Therefore, it is extremely important to monitor closely for the following signs, and if they do develop, stop giving deracoxib and contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • decrease in energy level
  • incoordination
  • aggression
  • yellowing of the skin, gums, or white of the eyes
  • decrease in appetite
  • changes in drinking and urination habits
  • changes in skin (scratching, redness, or scabbing)

Never give deracoxib prescribed for one dog in your household to another pet without first consulting your veterinarian. Deracoxib is not approved or recommended for use in cats.

This moderate-acting medication should stop working in a few days, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

Deracoxib should not be used in dogs:

  • with a hypersensitivity to sulfonamides
  • that are allergic to it or drugs like it (aspirin, other NSAIDs)
  • that have bloody stools (black or tarry appearance) or bloody vomit (coffee grounds appearance)
  • that have a loss of appetite
  • that have liver or kidney disease
  • that are dehydrated or are predisposed to dehydration
  • that are breeding, pregnant, or nursing

Deracoxib should be used with caution in dogs:

  • that have or have had stomach ulcers
  • that are taking diuretics (e.g., furosemide)
  • that are old
  • that have a bleeding disorder
  • that have heart disease

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

Use of other NSAIDs or corticosteroids should be avoided while your dog is taking deracoxib.

Certain medications may interact with deracoxib and so it is important to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your dog is taking.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

If your dog is taking deracoxib for extended periods (as in the treatment of osteoarthritis), your veterinarian will do periodic blood tests to check liver and kidney function. It is very important to attend these follow-up appointments.

How do I store deracoxib?

Because these are chewable tablets and can be very tempting to dogs, store them in an area your dog cannot access. Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature and be sure to keep the container out of reach of children and pets.

If your veterinarian has made a special formulation for your dog, follow the directions for storage on the package.

What should I do in case of emergency?

If you dog receives too much of this medication, serious effects on the gastrointestinal system, as well as the liver or kidney can occur. If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

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