What are Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Anti Inflammatory Medicine for Dogs

Anti-inflammatory drugs are a type of medication designed to treat inflammation; for treating pets and in particular dogs, this type of drug is most commonly used to treat osteoarthritis related inflammation and other signs of inflammatory problems, as swelling, tenderness, fever, and pain. In addition to this, NSAIDs can also be used as an effective pain relief medication after surgery.

Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) like Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx and Previcox are frequently prescribed by Veterinarians to treat inflammation and pain, both for long term diseases like arthritis, but also for injuries and other more acute conditions. Their use, however, might come with serious side effects like gastrointestinal problems (ulcers and/or bleeding) and possible liver and kidney damage (NSAIDs Side Effects)

Both therapeutic and adverse effects of NSAIDs are mainly attributed to the inhibition of COX enzymes.

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NSAIDs Mechanism of Action

NSAIDs work by inhibiting the production of Cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes that are part of the body’s inflammatory response. There are two forms of cyclooxygenase—cyclooxygenase 1 (COX-1), which produces prostaglandins in a normal physiological state; and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), which treats pain and inflammation.

Although both Cox-1 and Cox-2 produce prostaglandins that are part of the body’s response to inflammation, pain, and fever, only the COX-1 enzyme will protect the stomach and intestinal lining. Consequently, any medication targeting COX-1 will result in thinning of the mucus that protects the stomach from gastric juices, often leading to the development of gastroenteritis problems like: ulcers, stomach bleeding, and, in some cases even, perforation of the stomach.

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It is said that, compared to the earlier NSAIDs like Rimadyl, some of the newer NSAIDs – like Deramaxx – are designed to better discriminate between COX 2 and COX 1 and therefore should be less aggressive on the stomach and intestinal lining. In reality however, none of the available NSAID drugs are able to selectively target Cox-1 or Cox-2 at a satisfactory level.

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