Previcox® (firocoxib) for Dogs

Updated Jun. 23, 2024


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PetMD’s medications content was written and reviewed by veterinary professionals to answer your most common questions about how medications function, their side effects, and what species they are prescribed for. This content shouldn’t take the place of advice by your vet.

What Is Previcox® for Dogs?

Previcox® is an FDA-approved non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) prescription medication used in dogs to treat pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and for the control of postoperative pain and inflammation associated with soft-tissue and orthopedic surgery.

Firocoxib, the active ingredient in Previcox® chewable tablets, is also available as generic chewable tablets.

Like other medications in its NSAID class, it may also be used off-label to control fevers and inflammation caused by other conditions.

The term off-or extra- label use means that a medication is used in a way, or in a particular species, that is not specified in the approved labeling or intended use of the drug. While veterinarians often prescribe medications for off-label uses, your veterinarian will determine whether this medication is right for your dog.

How Previcox® Works in Dogs

Previcox® is a selective NSAID that is subcategorized as a COX-2 inhibitor. Like other NSAIDs, it blocks the body’s COX-2 pathway, which lowers the production of natural chemicals that trigger inflammation, thereby reducing fever and offering pain relief.

Due to its selectivity for the COX-2 pathway, Previcox® typically spares the COX-1 pathway, which is associated with digestion, kidney health, and blood clotting. This selectivity is beneficial because it generally causes fewer side effects compared to traditional NSAIDs.

However, it’s important to note that at high doses, Previcox® can still partially block these beneficial chemicals, so it’s important to follow your veterinarian’s directions exactly.

Previcox® Considerations for Dogs

Please note, this product cannot be accurately dosed in dogs less than 12.5 pounds in body weight.

Previcox® should not be used in pets who are hypersensitive to it. Previcox® should be used with caution in pets with certain medical conditions including dehydration, gastrointestinal disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and heart disease.

Giving Previcox® with certain medications can result in health risks to your pet, so it is important to discuss your pet’s medications and medical conditions with your veterinarian.

Safe use of this medication had not been established at the time of this publication in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs.

Previcox® Directions for Dogs

Follow the directions on the drug label or as provided by your veterinarian. This medication is given at different dosages based on why it was prescribed.

For osteoarthritis, it is generally given once daily by mouth at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration consistent with individual response.

If the medication is being used to control pain and inflammation associated with surgery, it is generally given prior to surgery and daily thereafter for a short duration. Giving this medication with food can help to prevent digestive system upset.

Missed a Dose?

Speak with your veterinarian about what to do if you forget to give a dose of Previcox®. Generally, they will advise that you give it when you remember, or, if it is almost time for your next dose, to skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. In most cases, do not give extra or double doses

Possible Side Effects of Previcox® in Dogs

Previcox® is generally well tolerated. Possible side effects include:

Discontinue Previcox® and contact your veterinarian immediately if signs of intolerance are observed. Serious adverse reactions associated with this drug class can occur without warning, and in rare situations result in death.

Most dogs with drug-related adverse reactions have recovered when the signs are recognized, the drug is withdrawn, and veterinary care, if appropriate, is initiated.

Human Side Effects

This medication is not used in humans. Due to possible side effects, humans should never use medicine dispensed for their pets and pets should not be given any medicine that was dispensed for a human’s use.

If you accidentally ingest a pet medication, call your physician or the National Poison Control Center hotline at 800-222-1222.  


Your veterinarian may recommend specific monitoring or routine testing while your dog Is on this medication, depending on your dog's Individual needs, other medications they are taking, or the underlying condition being treated. 

Appropriate laboratory testing is generally recommended to establish hematological and serum baseline data before and periodically during administration of any NSAID.

Call Your Vet If:

  • Severe side effects are seen (see above)

  • Your dog’s condition worsens or does not improve with treatment

  • You see or suspect an overdose

  • You have additional questions or concerns about the use of Previcox®

Previcox® Overdose Information in Dogs

Overdoses and symptoms of toxicity may occur with Previcox® including decreased appetite, vomiting, black tarry stools, increased heat rate, fatigue (lethargy), kidney failure, and seizures. More severe symptoms may occur depending on the severity of the overdose.

If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact your veterinarian, seek emergency veterinary care, or contact an animal poison control center. Consultation fees often apply.

Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764-7661

ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888) 426-4435

Previcox® Storage for Dogs

Previcox® should be stored according to the medication label and at controlled temperatures between 59–86 F, although brief exposure to temperatures up to 104 F is acceptable. Keep the container tightly closed to protect this medication from moisture and light.

Keep out of reach of children and pets.


How long can my dog stay on Previcox®?

Previcox® can be used safely long-term in many dogs. Please discuss with your veterinarian if Previcox® is the right choice for your dog's long-term pain control needs.

How quickly does Previcox® work?

Previcox® starts working in your dog about seven hours after administration, but it may take three to four days to reach its peak effective level.

No vet writer or qualified reviewer has received any compensation from the manufacturer of the medication as part of creating this article. All content contained in this article is sourced from public sources or the manufacturer.


Joubert KE. The effects of firocoxib (Previcox®) in geriatric dogs over a period of 90 days. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association. 2009;80(3):179-184.

De Salazar Alcalá AG, Gioda L, Dehman A, Beugnet F. Assessment of the efficacy of firocoxib (Previcox®) and grapiprant (Galliprant®) in an induced model of acute arthritis in dogs. BMC Veterinary Research. 2019;15(309).


Stephanie Howe, DVM


Stephanie Howe, DVM


Dr. Stephanie Howe graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011, after receiving a Bachelor of Science...

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