Meloxicam

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Meloxicam is an approved nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug for use in dogs as an anti-inflammatory analgesic agent for pain management.

At a dose of 0.1 mg/kg orally (loading dose) followed by 0.05mg/kg once daily as a maintenance dose, it is used for long-term management of arthritis and periodontitis. An injectable version is also available for short-term pain-relieving, such as routine desexing.

An alternate NSAID, tolfenamic acid has equivalent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

Meloxicam relieves inflammation and pain in both acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders, as well as an adjunct in chemotherapy for conditions such as melanomas and transitional cell carcinoma.

This drug is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory enolic acid derivative, belonging to the oxicam group of NSAIDs. It has been shown to be cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 selective in horses and dogs[1].

Meloxicam acts by inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, exerting anti-inflammatory, anti-exudative, analgesic and antipyretic effects. It reduces leukocyte infiltration into the inflamed tissue and prevents bone and cartilage destruction. To a minor extent it also inhibits collagen-induced thrombocyte aggregation[2].

As for all NSAIDs, use in an animal less that 6 weeks of age or in debilitated aged animals may involve additional risk. If use in such animals cannot be avoided careful clinical management may be necessary.

Other NSAIDs, diuretics, anticoagulants, aminoglycoside antibiotics and substances with high protein binding may compete for binding and thus lead to toxic effects. Meloxicam must not be administered in conjunction with other NSAIDs or glucocorticosteriods. Concurrent administration of potential nephrotoxic drugs should be avoided.

Pre-treatment with other anti-inflammatory drugs prior to the use of Meloxicam may result in additional or increased adverse effect and accordingly a treatment-free period with such drugs should be observed for at least 24 hours before commencement with Meloxicam. The treatment-free period however, should take into account the pharmacokinetic properties of the drugs previously used.

Typical adverse reaction of NSAIDs include anorexia, vomiting, diarrhoea, faecal occult blood and apathy. These side effects are in most cases transient and disappear following termination of treatment, but in rare cases may be serious.

Hypovolaemic or hypotension should be corrected prior to use of the product.

References

  1. Brideau, C, Van Staden, C & Chan, CC (2001) In vitro effects of cyclooxygenase inhibitors in whole blood of horses, dogs and cats. Am J Vet Res 62:1755-1760
  2. Lees, P., et al (2004) Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in species of veterinary interest. J Vet Pharmacol Ther 27:479-490
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