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Inflammopharmacology. 2003;11(4):385-99.

Pharmacology of drugs used to treat osteoarthritis in veterinary practice.

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The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Campus, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK.


As in humans, pain in animals may be associated with a wide range of conditions and circumstances, ranging from acute trauma to joint diseases. Joint diseases are common in companion animal medicine (horse, dog, cat) and at least 80% of cases are classified as osteoarthritis (OA). Several drug classes are available for OA therapy, including corticosteroids, non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), agents with potential disease modifying properties and nutraceuticals. For long-term maintenance OA treatment, particularly in the horse and dog, NSAIDs are routinely and extensively used. This review outlines the pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of NSAIDs in companion and farm animal species. NSAID PK and PD have been studied in models of acute inflammation, which enable use of PK-PD modeling to facilitate (a) studies of mechanism of action at the molecular level and (b) prediction of dosages for clinical use. The PK-PD approach is a powerful but underutilized tool which also facilitates inter-species comparisons.

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