Pippa the Pharma

Here is some more info from Pippa the Pharmacologist about my cox-2 inhibitor, Cimicoxib (generic). Or Cimalgex (brand).

Misery is always very keen to read the information leaflets about any drugs, well they are usually mine, as she doesn’t take any.

In fact she thinks it is so important, she wrote about it on her Clouds bloggy, which is not as good as mine because there are no pictures of me. But if you are interested in pharmaceutical and pharmacological issues, check out her paracetamol post.

Back to me. As we didn’t get an information sheet for my tablets, she looked up the info on the tinties for me.

They come in three varieties. Cimalgex 8mg, 30mg amd 80mg. Each tablet has the same quantity of active ingredient cimicoxib, ie 8mg of cimicoxib in the 8mg tablet, 30mg in the 30mg tablet and 80mg in the 80mg tablet. The tablets are chewable ones and tasty. I can vouch for that.

Here are the other ingredients:

• Lactose monohydrate
• Povidone K25
• Crospovidone
• Sodium laurylsulfate
• Macrogol 400
• Sodium stearyl fumarate
• Pork liver powder

Misery wasn’t very pleased to see the last one on that list. And she thought sodium lauryl sulphate was something you got in shampoo.

Big dogs like me need to take one tablet a day of the 80mg version, ie that’s 20.1 – 40kg dog weight. You can take them with, or without food. I started eating them with my food, but when Misery was helping me research, she read something about taking the recommended dose without food.

So then I ate it before my breakfast with some tasty fake beefy slices. After a couple of days though, I began to feel a bit lethargic and couldn’t be bothered to jump up and down for my breakfast. And when we went out for my walks, I didn’t want to do anything. I even had a few tiny retches although nothing came up.

Misery looked at the internet again and checked out the adverse reactions. Here is what she found:

• Mild and transient gastro-intestinal disorders (vomiting and/or diarrhoea) were very commonly reported.

• On rare occasions, serious gastrointestinal disorders such as haemorrhage and ulcer formation have been noted. Other adverse reactions including anorexia or lethargy may also be observed on rare occasions.

• In very rare cases, increases in renal biochemistry parameters were noted. As for any long term NSAID treatment, renal function should be monitored.

Well I certainly didn’t have diarrhoea, quite the opposite, but I had been trying to vomit. And I was not my usual perky self. I’m not even sure if I could have been bothered to chase a cat.

I’d had about ten tablets at this point out of my two week supply and my paw was much better. So Master and Misery decided to stop the tablets immediately, as advised, and I was soon back to my normal cheerful self. I even found a cat that I thought Master might want to look at more closely so I tried to pull him over. He didn’t. Want to look at it I mean.

So, as Mango particularly asked about side effects, I thought it was worth making a separate post for you all in case you get arthritis or a trophy. Perhaps I will win a trophy for my pharmacological research?

In summary about my tablets:

1 They are tasty

2 They made my paw get better very quickly, and so far it has not hurt again

3 They are better taken with food, in my experience

They are not expensive at 19.20€ for 16 tablets and because I stopped taking them before I had used them all, it means there are some in my medicine cabinet in case my paw starts to hurt again.

Thank you all for your very kind comments about my pawly paw and I hope I don’t need to put on my pharmacological hat again in the near future. Although I am happy to do any research for any pups who need it.

And here are some piccies. After all this is a dogblog. Finally, I end with a special pic for my friend Claudette where I am doing paws crossed and evil eyes to ward off bad things. Thinking of you, Claudette, big Pippahugs to you.

Pippa the Pharmacologist resting after research

Busy morning with a yoghurt pot

The obligatory boring old tablet shot

Breakfast time. So happy. Bread from Misery and toast from Master.

One of my favourite positions. Front paws on the floor, back ones on the sofa, ready to turn whichever way

Oh! Yes! Toast!

Eyes wide shut? while crunching toasties –
I hope Nicole Kidman appreciates my eyes wide shut

Licking my lips but I look drunk on here. Drunk on toast!!

Paws crossed for my lovely friend Claudette, and sending evil green eyes to help get rid of her pawlinesses

Pawly paw

I had a pawly paw so off we went to see my favourite vet, Doctor Pedro.

Master and Misery thought it might be arthritis because I am old. They bought me some glucosamine which I wrote about last month but it didn’t seem to make any difference.

We have learned two things about going to see Pedro. Not to go on a Monday morning because it is full of people who have waited over the weekend, and not to go first thing when there is a queue.

So we went about half tennish (he opens at 10) on a Tuesday, and walked straight in. Pedro walked over to see us in the waiting area. Unless I am going for my jabs, he likes to see us in the public area. I like that too, it’s sort of friendly and informal.

He moved my leg backwards and forwards and I didn’t even do the tiniest little yelp. Then he went out the back and came back with some tablets. Hmmmm. Would they taste nasty? Would I get them wrapped in tasty slices? 🙂

Misery asked what was wrong. Was it arthritis? Pedro said it could be arthritis or atrophy. A trophy? Does that mean I won a prize? Seems not.

Later Misery was puzzled. She spoke to Master about it. She couldn’t understand why Pedro had said I was wasting away when he said I looked healthy and a good size.

‘Muscle wastage,’ said Master intelligently. ‘Ah,’ said Misery, realising that Master had hidden depths of cleverness.

Anyway, I am allowed to write about my tablets myself this time instead of Misery pretending to be clever and stealing all my interesting info and putting it on her blog. Pippa the Pill Popper. No, I don’t think I like that image. Pippa the Pharmacologist, yes, that is much better. Serious and thoughtful.

So, I got Cimicoxib – generic name, brand name is Cimalgex. I got the 80 mg version. It is made by Vetoquinol.

It is a cox-2 inhibitor like the Previcox I had when I was poorly with erlichiosis. Now here comes the techy bit. Cox inhibitors are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS, or AINEs in Spanish). They work by inhibiting ie suppressing or turning off, an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX).

Now, there is COX 1 and COX 2. There is also COX 3 or 1B but that doesn’t seem to be important. Just thought I would mention it in case anyone thought I hadn’t done my research properly.

NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen inhibit all cox enzymes. But cox-2 inhibitors only go for the enzyme that causes inflammation. It seems cox-1 is a good cox that looks after our stomachs so we don’t want to inhibit that one.

There now, I think that is it. Cimalgex is a new tablet that only came out this year. It is chewy and tasty which is always a good thing in my dog opinion. Like all tablets it has side effects. I think I will write about that later as I am tired now after my pharmaceutical research.

My paw is better.

Even though I was on sick leave, I thought it was important to make sure I supervised the painting. And to ensure my table den did not disappear under all those sheets.

Here is my friend Perro Blanco who lives at the finca across the road. Actually he is not my friend at all as we always bark at each other. But he has a pawly paw too – he needs to go and see Pedro the Vet.

Here he is laughing at Misery. Perhaps we have something in common. In fact I think we look similar in some ways? What do you think?