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Dipyrone for Veterinary Use

For Veterinary Practices
Prescribe Now
For Pet & Horse Owners
Manage Your Prescriptions

by Barbara Forney, VMD


Overview

Therapeutic Class
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug

Species
Horses

May Be Prescribed by Vets for:
Antipyretic, analgesic

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Basic Information

Dipyrone (metamizole) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The mechanism of action of dipyrone is thought to be similar to that of other NSAIDs: inhibition of the production of prostaglandins. It commonly is used in the horse as an antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory.

Ask your vet these questions about compounded medications.

Horses

Dipyrone is a very mild NSAID. Because of its very mild analgesic properties it is unlikely to mask abdominal pain due to a surgical problem. Traditionally, dipyrone has been thought also to have anti-spasmodic properties on the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract, which has been the basis for its common use in cases of mild colic. Although research evidence does not support any claim of anti-spasmodic activity, many clinicians consider it a very useful drug precisely for this reason. Flunixin meglumine is an NSAID with stronger analgesic properties that also is used to treat GI pain.

Dipyrone may be used in foals and in adult horses to reduce fevers. It is not used commonly to treat musculoskeletal pain. Dipyrone may be given IM, IV or subcutaneously.

Dipyrone Side Effects

  • The most-common side effect for dipyrone is injection-site reactions. These reactions usually respond to hot compresses and NSAIDs.
  • Prolonged use of dipyrone may cause bone-marrow suppression (leukopenia, agranulocytosis). Animals receiving prolonged courses of dipyrone should be followed with regular CBCs.

Precautions

  • Although dipyrone is a very mild NSAID, these types of drugs should be avoided or very carefully monitored in animals with liver disease, kidney disease or GI problems. Therapy should be stopped at the first sign of any adverse reaction such as anorexiaoral ulcers, depression, decreased plasma protein, increased creatinine, anemia or leukopenia.
  • Dipyrone should be given slowly when used intravenously. Rapid administration may cause seizures.
  • Dipyrone should be used with caution in older or debilitated animals particularly those with cardiac disease.
  • Dipyrone should not be used in animals with a history of blood or bone marrow abnormalities.
  • Dipyrone once was considered a "masking drug" in racehorses. If used in racehorses, inquiry should be made with the individual racing jurisdiction regarding withdrawal periods. Older information suggests a five-day withdrawal period.

Drug Interactions

  • Dipyrone should not be used concurrently with chlorpromazine due to potentially serious hypothermia.
  • Dipyrone should not be used in conjunction with phenylbutazone or barbiturates.

Overdose

Convulsions have been reported following acute overdose.

About the Author

Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.

She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.

Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.

The information contained on this site is general in nature and is intended for use as an informational aid. It does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the products shown, nor is the information intended as medical advice or diagnosis for individual health problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of using a particular product. You should consult your doctor about diagnosis and treatment of any health problems. Information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), nor has the FDA approved the products to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.

Wedgewood Pharmacy compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals.