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What Happens If Humans Take Rimadyl?

By Justin Pendergrass ; Updated July 27, 2017

Overview of Rimadyl and Current Use

Rimadyl is the commercial name of Carprofen, a drug manufactured by the Pfizer pharmaceutical group. Carprofen is part of a larger family of drugs known as NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Some of the most commonly known drugs are NSAIDS including Advil and ibuprofen. Currently, Rimadyl is used in the treatment and relief of arthritic pain in aged dogs. Depending on the dosage, it can be used daily or selectively for severe pain relief or post-surgery recovery. There is occasional use of Rimadyl by veterinarians and farmers and horses in cattle for much the same reasons. The current form of Rimadyl is available in 25, 50, & 100mg tablets. It is taken orally.

Effect in Humans

While the current commercial version of Rimadyl is for use in animals, especially dogs, Rimadyl was used in humans from 1988 to approximately 1998. NSAIDS, Rimadyl (Carprofen) included, inhibit something know as COX-2, or cyclooxygenase, an enzyme that is responsible for the formation of prostanoids. All forms of prostanoids are responsible for inflammation throughout the body. By inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme, the quantity of prostanoids formation is reduced, lowering cases of or severity of inflammation and thus pain associated with possible inflammation as well. There are two forms of cyclooxygenase in the human body, COX-1 and COX-2. Carprofen differs from more common NSAIDS such as Advil or ibuprofen in that it is a targeted drug, inhibiting only COX-2 while the other two block both COX-1 and COX-2. When commercially available for humans Rimadyl was available in 150-600/mg dosage. It was available only via prescription, and any dosage above 250/mg was only for use to relieve post-surgery inflammation. 150/mg doses were used as daily relief of chronic arthritic pain, while the 200/mg dose was advised for more symptomatically severe cases of arthritis or inflammation pain. All forms of Carprofen were taken orally.

Side Effects in Humans

When Carprofen was available and used by humans, the side effects were relatively mild. Most commonly, effects included mild stomach pain or other intestinal effects such as diarrhea. There were occasional episodes of nausea as well. Overall, Carprofen had much the same side effects and level of severity as other NSAIDS such as aspirin or ibuprofen products.

Halt of Carprofen Use in Humans

While used effectively for over ten years, Carprofen was voluntarily pulled off the market by Pfizer due to commercial reasons. Notable among this is that the mass production and over-the-counter status of Carprofen's cousin drugs such as Advil had made the production of the prescription Carprofen cost-prohibitive. Pfizer re-marketed the drug several years later as Rimadyl, and as noted earlier, at lower doses Carprofen is effective in treatment of inflammation and pain in animals.

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