Deramaxx is a member of the class of drugs known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), the same class as common over-the-counter pain remedies like Advil (ibuprofen) and aspirin. Most of these NSAIDs cannot be used in pets due to the following unacceptable side effects:
- Stomach ulceration
- Decreased blood supply to the kidney in a borderline patient
Deramaxx is generally given to control arthritis pain in dogs and other painful conditions such as injuries, surgery, dental infections, and more. Deramaxx has been approved by the FDA for use in cats for surgical pain.
Interactions With Other Drugs
NSAIDs should not be used in conjunction with corticosteroid hormones such as prednisone and dexamethasone.
If Deramaxx is used concurrently with phenobarbital, it is especially important that appropriate liver monitoring be performed. (Bile acids testing every 6 months for dogs on phenobarbital are recommended.) ACE inhibitors such as enalapril or captopril may not be as effective in the presence of Deramaxx.
- There is a chance of a dog on Deramaxx developing nausea, appetite loss, vomiting, or diarrhea. If any of the above is noted, Deramaxx should be discontinued and the dog brought in to your veterinarian for a liver enzyme blood test.
- If a patient has borderline kidney function, NSAIDs should not be used as they reduce blood flow through the kidneys. It is also important that NSAIDs not be given to dehydrated patients because of this potential side effect.
- All NSAIDs are removed from the body by the liver. If the patient’s liver is not working normally due to another disease or if the patient is taking other drugs that are removed by the liver, it is possible to “over-work” the liver and exacerbate pre-existing liver disease.This Hepatopathy side effect usually occurs in the first 3 weeks after starting Deramaxx but theoretically can occur later.
Concerns and Cautions
- Keep chewable Deramaxx away from children and pets.
- Deramaxx is a member of a class of drugs called sulfonamides. If a patient is known to have reactions against another sulfa drug, it is best to choose an NSAID other than Deramaxx.
- Deramaxx should not be used in patients with pre-existing GI ulcerations.
- The most common side effects of Deramaxx are nausea, appetite loss, vomiting, or diarrhea. If any of the above is noted, Deramaxx should be discontinued and the pet brought in for a liver enzyme and renal parameter blood test. It is important to rule out whether or not the patient has more than just a routine upset stomach.
- Monitor for black stools, as this may be a sign of gastric/intestinal ulcer.