Previcox for dogs
Pain relief / anti-inflammatory
What is Previcox?
Previcox is a brand name for a drug with the active ingredient firocoxib. It is a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID). NSAIDs reduce the production of inflammatory substances in the body. In this way, Previcox lowers pain, inflammation and fever in dogs with many kinds of health issues (e.g. injury, joint disease, post-operative pain)
What does Previcox do?
The active ingredient in Previcox is Firocoxib, which is a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID). Firocoxib targets COX-2 and reduces its activity. COX-2 is a protein that facilitates the body’s production of inflammatory chemicals. Pain, inflammation and fever are induced by these inflammatory chemicals.
By blocking the effects of COX-2, Previcox reduces inflammation. This reduces inflammation-induced fever in dogs. By reducing inflammation, Previcox also manages pain associated with many short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic) conditions in dogs . These conditions include joint disease, dental disease and post-surgical pain.
What is Previcox for?
Previcox reduces pain and inflammation that is associated with many short-term and long-term conditions affecting dogs. Examples of these conditions include:
- Post-surgical pain: Previcox may be used for postoperative pain management in dogs after some types of surgery (e.g. dental surgery, bone and joint surgery)
- Joint problems: Dogs with joint problems (e.g. degenerative joint disease are often prescribed Previcox to lower pain and inflammation. This results in improved mobility and quality of life.
What are the possible side effects with Previcox?
Previcox (firocoxib) is generally well-tolerated in dogs. However, pet owners should know that Previcox – like any other drug – can have side effects. Contact your vet immediately if you see any of these signs in your dog.
Previcox’s potential side effects include (but are not limited to):
- Gut issues: Gut problems may occur in some dogs. Signs including vomiting or diarrhoea. The presence of tarry stools and/or fresh blood is indicative of sores in the gut lining (gut ulcers).
- Sores on gut lining (gut ulcers): Gut ulcers may be caused by a high dose of Previcox, or prolonged use of Previcox.
- Weight Loss due to Decreased Appetite: Some dogs may eat less when they are on Previcox. This may cause weight loss.
- Kidney Damage: Previcox, like other NSAIDs, can affect kidney function. Pet owners should watch out for increased drinking and urination, which may indicate kidney issues.
- Liver Damage: While rare, liver damage may occur. Affected dogs may have yellowed eyes, gums and/or skin (jaundice).
- Allergic Reactions: In very rare cases, dogs may experience an allergic reaction. Signs include swelling, itching, breathing difficulties etc.
Do note that not all pets will undergo these side effects. Furthermore, the benefits of using Previcox often outweigh the risks. However, do contact your vet straightaway if you notice any abnormal signs or changes in your pet’s behaviour while on Previcox . To ensure your pet’s safety and well-being, your vet will give professional advice and adjust your pet’s treatment plan if necessary.
Which pets is Previcox not suitable for?
In general, Previcox is not suitable for the following pets:
- Dogs that are currently on other anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. other NSAIDs, corticosteroids). Tell your vet if your dog is on other medications or supplements.
- Dogs that are allergic to Previcox or any other NSAIDs
- Dogs that are pregnant, lactating or intended for breeding
- Dogs under 7 months of age
- Dogs weighing less than 3kg
- Dogs with bleeding disorders
- Dogs with dehydration, heart problems, kidney problems and liver problems
The above pets are more likely to experience side effects from Previcox.
If your dog has any of the above issues and your vet prescribes Previcox, your vet will discuss the risks involved. Your vet will also monitor your dog closely with diagnostics and follow-up vet visits.
How to give Previcox safely
- Follow vet instructions: Previcox can be given with or without food. However, always use Previcox exactly as your vet has prescribed. This includes the right dose and frequency. Never adjust the dose on your own, even if your dog or cat seems to be feeling better or worse. If you aren’t sure of the dose prescribed, please call your vet to confirm.
- Check with your vet if giving anything else: Your vet should be aware of other drugs your pet is on, but always double-check to avoid miscommunication. If your dog is on supplements or non-prescription treatments, you should also tell your vet when they prescribe Previcox, as they may not be suitable to be given together.
Dogs are at greater risk of side effects if they have been prescribed Previcox and they are already on other anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. other NSAIDs, corticosteroids). If your vet wishes to switch your dog from another anti-inflammatory drug to Previcox, your vet will stop the previous anti-inflammatory for a certain time period (a “washout period”) before prescribing Previcox to your dog. Therefore, you should also tell your vet about your dog’s past medications.
- Storage and Handling: Store Previcox according to the instructions on the packaging, usually in a cool and dry place (below 25°C). Wash your hands after giving Previcox to your dog. Ensure it is out of reach of children and other pets.
- Report any overdose to your vet immediately: If you have mistakenly given too much Previcox, report it to your vet as soon as you realise the error. They may recommend blood tests, decontamination, supportive care (e.g.intravenous fluids), or monitoring, depending on the severity of the overdose.
How long can my dog stay on Previcox?
Your dog can stay on Previcox for the duration prescribed by your vet, as long as the duration does not exceed 90 days and no side-effects are experienced while on the medication. There is little information on the safety of Previcox in dogs beyond 90 days. Therefore your vet will discuss the risks and monitor your dog very closely if Previcox is prescribed for more than 90 days.
Is Previcox hard on the liver?
Previcox can be hard on the liver if the dose is high and Previcox is prescribed for a prolonged period. Previcox can also strain an already damaged liver. Therefore, dogs should be tested for organ function issues before starting on Previcox.
What is the safest anti-inflammatory for dogs?
The safest anti-inflammatory for dogs will depend on each dog’s individual health status. Every drug has its side effects, and individual dogs will respond differently to a particular anti-inflammatory. Your vet will choose the most appropriate anti-inflammatory for your dog after evaluating your dog’s health and diagnostic findings.
Is there an alternative to Previcox for dogs?
Yes, there is an alternative for Previcox for dogs. In fact, there are many alternatives! Alternative NSAIDs include drugs such as Metacam, Rimadyl, Galliprant and more. There are also other categories of pain relief medication such as opioids. Your vet is the best person to discuss alternatives with you.
Is Previcox a good painkiller for dogs?
Research shows that Previcox is a good painkiller for dogs. In two large field studies, dogs with degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) had improved lameness scores after being prescribed Previcox.
Is Previcox prescription only?
Yes, Previcox is a prescription-only drug. Many anti-inflammatories for humans (e.g. Aspirin) are available over-the-counter. It is dangerous to give any of these to your dog without consulting your vet first!
All drugs have a manufacturer’s datasheet, which gives information about the drug’s use and possible side effects. There is usually one in your Previcox box, but if you have lost it you can click on the button below to be taken on an online version.
Courses related to Previcox
Please note that the information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only. Although it has been written by a vet, we cannot consider the individual nature of your pet’s problems so it does not constitute veterinary advice. If you have questions about your pet’s medication or their health you should contact a vet, who will be able to help.
« Back to Glossary Index