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Rimadyl by Pfizer/Zoetis

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Cost saving generic equivalent available! See Ostifen (Carprofen) caplets here.

Cost saving generic equivalent available! See Carprofen chewable tablets here.



General Description:

Carprofen is an oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that has been prescribed to your dog to manage his/her arthritis pain and inflammation, or has been given post-operatively to reduce pain following surgery. This medication is for use in dogs only. While carprofen is not a cure for osteoarthritis (OA), it can relieve the pain and inflammation of OA and improve your dog's mobility. Response varies from dog to dog but can be quite dramatic. Carprofen is available as caplets or chewable tablets.

What is this drug?
  • Carprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
  • Given by mouth
Reasons for prescribing?
  • Used to reduce pain and inflammation (soreness) due to osteoarthritis in dogs [signs include limping or lameness, decreased activity or exercise (reluctance to stand, climb stairs, jump or run, or difficulty in performing these activities), stiffness or decreased movement of joints]
  • Used to reduce pain following surgery in dogs (ex. for surgeries such as spays, ear procedures or orthopedic repairs). Your veterinarian may administer carprofen before the procedure and recommend that your dog be treated with the oral form for several days after going home.
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
  • Cats (this medication is for dogs only). Call your veterinarian immediately if your cat receives carprofen.
  • Has had an allergic reaction to carprofen
  • Has had an allergic reaction to aspirin or other NSAIDs (for example deracoxib, etodolac, firocoxib, meloxicam, phenylbutazone or tepoxalin) such as hives, facial swelling, or red or itchy skin

Carprofen should be given according to your veterinarian's instructions. Your veterinarian will tell you what amount of carprofen is right for your dog and for how long it should be given.

Carprofen should be given by mouth and may be given with or without food.

While carprofen is not a cure for osteoarthritis, it can relieve the pain and inflammation of OA and improve your dog's mobility. Response varies from dog to dog but can be quite dramatic.

In most dogs, improvement can be seen in a matter of days.

If Carprofen is discontinued or not given as directed, your dog's pain and inflammation may come back.

What if a dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.

What to tell/ask your veterinarian before giving medication?

Talk to your veterinarian about:

  • The signs of OA you have observed (for example limping, stiffness)
  • The importance of weight control and exercise in the management of OA
  • What tests might be done before carprofen is prescribed
  • How often your dog may need to be examined by your veterinarian
  • The risks and benefits of using carprofen

Tell your veterinarian about:

  • Experienced side effects from carprofen or other NSAIDs, such as aspirin
  • Digestive upset (vomiting and/or diarrhea)
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • A bleeding disorder (for example, von Willebrand's disease)
  • Any other medical problems or allergies that your dog has now or has had
  • All medicines that you are giving your dog or plan to give your dog, including those you can get without a prescription
  • If your dog is pregnant, nursing or if you plan to breed your dog
Storage and Warnings:

Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.

Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.

Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.

For use in dogs only. Do not use in cats.

Potential side effects:

Carprofen, like other drugs, may cause some side effects. Serious but rare side effects have been reported in dogs taking NSAIDs, including carprofen. Serious side effects can occur with or without warning and in rare situations result in death.

The most common NSAID-related side effects generally involve the stomach (such as bleeding ulcers), and liver or kidney problems. Look for the following side effects that can indicate your dog may be having a problem with carprofen or may have another medical problem:

  • Decrease or increase in appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Change in bowel movements (such as diarrhea, or black, tarry or bloody stools)
  • Change in behavior (such as decreased or increased activity level, incoordination, seizure or aggression)
  • Yellowing of gums, skin, or whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • Change in drinking habits (frequency, amount consumed)
  • Change in urination habits (frequency, color, or smell)
  • Change in skin (redness, scabs, or scratching)

It is important to stop therapy and contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your dog has a medical problem or side effect from Carprofen therapy. If you have additional questions about possible side effects, talk to your veterinarian.

Can this drug be given with other drugs?

Carprofen should not be given with other NSAIDs (ex. aspirin, deracoxib, etodolac, firocoxib, meloxicam, tepoxalin) or steroids (ex. cortisone, dexamethasone, prednisone, triamcinolone).


Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog eats more than the prescribed amount of carprofen.

What else should I know?

This sheet provides a summary of information about carprofen. If you have any questions or concerns about carprofen, or osteoarthritis, or postoperative pain, talk to your veterinarian.

As with all prescribed medicines, carprofen should only be given to the dog for which it was prescribed. It should be given to your dog only for the condition for which it was prescribed.

It is important to periodically discuss your dog's response to carprofen at regular check ups. Your veterinarian will best determine if your dog is responding as expected and if your dog should continue receiving carprofen.

(Rimadyl, Novox, Carpaquin, Quellin) 
Common Drug Name
Common Brand Names 
Rimadyl, Novox, Carpaquin, Quellin
Generic products are available. 
Store at room temperature in a tight, light resistant, childproof container; do not expose to high heat. The chewable form of the drug is appealing to pets and children. Store in a secure area to prevent an accidental overdose. Refrigeration is recommended for compounded forms.
Carprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in a class called COX-2 inhibitors. 
Dogs: Carprofen is used for the relief of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, including hip dysplasia. It is also approved for the control of postoperative pain associated with soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries. Carprofen may also help reduce fevers. 
Carprofen may also be used in other small animals and birds for the relief of inflammation and pain.
Dose and Administration 
Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian.
Carprofen is given by mouth. It may be given with food to reduce the chance of stomach/intestinal side effects.
For long-term treatment, use the lowest dose needed to provide relief. For arthritic conditions, it may need to be given periodically for the animal’s lifetime. 
If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give 2 doses at once.
This medication should only be given to the pet for whom it was prescribed.
Possible Side Effects 
The most common side effect of NSAIDs is stomach upset, but stomach ulcers may develop, in which case you may see loss of appetite; vomiting; diarrhea; dark, tarry or, bloody stools; or constipation. Side effects involving the kidney include increased thirst and urination, or changes in the urine color or smell. Liver-related side effects include jaundice (yellowing of the gums, skin, or eyes). Other side effects may include pale gums, lethargy, shedding, incoordination, seizures, or behavioral changes. If any of these side effects are observed, stop treatment and contact your veterinarian.  
If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Not for use in animals who are hyper-sensitive (allergic) to carprofen, aspirin, etodolac (EtoGesic), deracoxib (Dera-maxx), firocoxib (Previcox), meloxicam (Metacam), tepoxalin (Zubrin), or other NSAIDs.
The safety of the drug has not been determined in breeding, pregnant, or lactating animals (female animals nursing their young).
Use with extreme caution and continued monitoring in geriatric animals and those who are dehydrated or have pre-existing stomach, intestinal, liver, heart, kidney, diabetes mellitus or blood disorders.   Do not use in animals with bleeding problems, e.g., von Willebrand's disease.
Consult with your veterinarian regarding the physical examinations and laboratory testing necessary prior to and during treatment with carprofen.
Drug, Food, and Test Interactions
Consult your veterinarian before using carprofen with any other medications, including vitamins and supplements, other NSAIDs (e.g., aspirin, etodolac (EtoGesic), deracoxib (Deramaxx), firocoxib (Previcox), tepoxalin (Zubrin), and meloxicam (Metacam); steroids (e.g., prednisone, dexamethasone, Medrol, triamcinolone), methotrexate, furosemide (Lasix) , digoxin, phenobarbital, oral anticoagulants (heparin, warfarin), enalapril, phenylpropanolamine, sulfa drugs, and some oral antidiabetic drugs, since interactions may occur. 
Signs of Toxicity/Overdose
May see loss of appetite, vomiting, diar-rhea, dark or tarry stools, bloody stools, increased thirst, increased urination, pale gums, jaundice (yellowing of gums, skin, or eyes), lethargy, increased respiration (fast or heavy breathing), incoordination, seizures, or behavioral changes.
An overdose or toxicity could be fatal.
If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, or if you observe any of these signs in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately. 
Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.


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