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Is arthritis medication for dogs going to be available to humans?

Q) I mentioned to my vet that my 15-year-old dog, Lucy, experienced a little difficulty in getting her hind legs into use when trying to rise from the floor and climbing stairs. He suspected arthritis and gave me a free sample of Metacam 1.5 mg/ml oral suspension. He said it had been remarkably successful in dogs and that the makers Boehringer Ingelheim considered the prospects of success in human to be promising. It would be marketed under the name Mobic. What are your thoughts on the matter?
John Devonshire, Christchurch, Dorset (Winter 2006)

A) I've heard of people giving their anti-inflammatory drugs to their pet but never the other way round (usually because the veterinary drugs cost more, not being available on the NHS). Meloxicam, marketed originally as Mobic, is available for use in humans. Indeed, after the COX-2 scare last year meloxicam was one of the non-COX-2 drugs which were recommended as it's said to have a less severe effect on the stomach (NSAIDs can cause stomach ulcers in some people).

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