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Tolfenamic for Dogs and Cats

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General Drug Information and Indications

Tolfenamic acid is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to manage both acute and chronic pain in dogs and cats. Dogs and particularly cats are very sensitive to NSAIDs and there are very few drugs in this class that are considered safe to use. Tolfenamic acid has a mechanism of action similar to aspirin. It is well absorbed orally, or your veterinarian may choose to use the injectable form.

Like many other drugs in veterinary medicine, this drug is not FDA approved for use in animals and is not available from a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer. Instead, it is compounded by a specialty pharmacy (What is compounding?).

How to Give this Medication

Give this medication to your pet exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. If you miss giving your pet a dose of tolfenamic acid, give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it close to the next scheduled dose, return to the regular schedule. Do not double dose to catch up.

Tolfenamic acid is usually given for a few days (2-5), and then stopped for a few days. Your veterinarian will decide a schedule based on your pet's needs.

Wash your hands after giving your pet this medication.

Side Effects

Be sure to discuss any side effects with your veterinarian immediately.

The most common side effects after oral administration are vomiting and diarrhea.


Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. This drug should only be given to the animal for which it was prescribed. Do not give this medication to a person. Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

Tolfenamic acid is considered a safe drug in both dogs and cats but these species are much more likely to have adverse effects from NSAIDs than humans. Tolfenamic acid should not be used in animals with a history of gatrointestinal ulceration, decreased kidney function, liver problems or those with a history of abnormal blood clotting.

There is no specific information regarding tolfenamic acid use during pregnancy.

Drug Interactions

Be sure to review with your veterinarian any medications or supplements your pet may be receiving.

Tolfenamic acid is generally not used with other NSAIDs or with corticosteroids because they may increase the risk of GI ulceration.

Tolfenamic acid is generally not used with other drugs that have the potential for kidney toxicity. These include diuretics, aminoglycoside antibiotics, and amphotericin B.

Tolfenamic acid affects blood clotting time. It should be used with additional caution in animals that are receiving warfarin (coumarin).

NSAIDs may increase serum digoxin levels.

NSAIDs should not be used in animals receiving methotrexate due to potential toxicity.


If you suspect your pet or another animal was accidentally overdosed or has eaten this medication inadvertently, contact your veterinarian or the A.S.P.C.A.'s Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. Always bring the prescription container with you when you take your pet for treatment.

If you or someone else has accidentally ingested this medication call the National Capital Poison Center at 800.222.1222.


Different strengths or dosage forms of tolfenamic acid may have different storage requirements. Read the labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements of the prescription you receive.

Who is Wedgewood Pharmacy and what is compounding?

Wedgewood Pharmacy, located in Swedesboro, New Jersey, is one of the nation's largest compounding pharmacies. We fill prescriptions for compounded medications for veterinary and human-health patients. All medications dispensed from Wedgewood Pharmacy require a prescription from a licensed prescriber. We ship throughout the United States.

Why might your physician or veterinarian prescribe a compounded medication for you or your pet? Compounded medications are prescribed when the practitioner determines that the appropriate treatment is not otherwise available from a pharmaceutical manufacturer or is not available in the strength, dosage form, flavor, or package size the practitioner thinks is necessary for treatment. When your physician or veterinarian calls a prescription into a compounding pharmacy, a pharmacist prepares a medication that meets the individual needs of you or your pet. To learn more about compounding, and when compounded medications might be prescribed, please visit Patients and Professionals for Customized Care

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About the Author

Dr. Barbara Forney

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.