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What is Rimadyl and when should I use it? Rimadyl is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) manufactured by Pfizer.
Rimadyl is the Brand Name of the drug, also known under the Generic Name of carprofen, has been available since 1997 and is a very effective treatment for arthritis, but it is also known to have some serious after effects and should therefore be used with extreme caution at all times.
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What is the difference between a Brand and a Generic name?
Drugs often come with two names: a brand (or trade) name and a generic name. NSAIDs, like all drugs, have an active ingredient, the (chemical) part that is responsible for treating, or at least controlling, the condition or disease. The name of the active ingredient is commonly used to as the generic name of a drug, and consequently, all drugs with the generic name will have the same active ingredient. Some drugs also come with a brand name that, for obvious reasons, often is given by the company responsible for developing the drug.
For example, a brand name for carprofen is Rimadyl.
Are all forms of a drug exactly the same?
Does this mean that all drugs that are sold under the same generic name are exactly the same(?) unfortunately they are not. Drug developing companies are, within certain limits, allowed to make small variations in the amount of active ingredient, and of course, drugs are more than just their active ingredients. For example, binding agents are used to give the drug its shape and colouring ingredients will give the drug its (commercially attractive) colour.
What is Rimadyl used for?
Many breeds of dog suffer from arthritis as they grow older, and without effective treatment, the condition can cause a great deal of pain and loss of movement. As the dog ages, the cartilage in the joints slowly begins to deteriorate, which eventually leads to the symptoms of arthritis, and as in humans, arthritis is associated with stiffness and pain.
Such problems are especially prevalent in the larger breeds of dog, and because arthritis is such a degenerative disease, drugs such as Rimadyl can often be highly beneficial in helping to improve the quality of life of elderly dogs.
However, as with all drug treatments, both in pets and humans, there are often side effects, and what is effective in one patient is sometimes unsuitable for another.
Because of this, it is important to be aware of the side effects of Rimadyl and take this into consideration before administering the drug to your beloved pet dog.
Not all dogs are suitable candidates for Rimadyl and Pfizer recommends that all dogs are screened for potentially dangerous health disorders before Rimadyl is prescribed for arthritis or anti inflammatory pain relief. It is also important that dogs taking Rimadyl are kept under close observation for possible side effects during the treatment plan and periodic blood tests should be undertaken to ensure liver function remains healthy. Should any adverse symptoms of side effects be observed, dog owners should stop giving Rimadyl to their dog and seek veterinarian advice immediately.
Although Rimadyl was primarily developed for the treatment of arthritis and degenerative joint problems, Rimadyl is also administered by veterinarians to reduce swelling and provide pain relief following surgical spaying and neutering of dogs.
Can Rimadyl be prescribed for use with other drugs?
Rimadyl should never be used concurrently with other NSAIDs such as aspirin. It should also not be given to dogs that are already taking corticosteroid hormone treatments.
Whilst the drug is extremely effective in relieving pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and degenerative joint problems in dogs, there are many instances where it is not advisable to administer Rimadyl and the benefits should be carefully weighed up against the potential risks before giving Rimadyl to your dog.