Galliprant is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with an excellent safety profile. There is evidence there may be anti-cancer benefits associated with Galliprant (generic name: grapiprant) in dogs.
What Is Galliprant?
Grapiprant (brand name Galliprant®) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with an excellent safety profile with a more specific target than similar medications like carprofen. There is evidence that there may be anti-cancer benefits associated with Galliprant for dogs, although it has not been formally studied yet.4
Grapiprant is part of the new pripant class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) approved for use in dogs with osteoarthritis.1,5
This class of NSAIDs is more specific and has fewer side effects than other NSAIDs for dogs. Galliprant is available in tablet form.1,5
Grapiprant was approved by the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine in March 2016 as a non-cyclooxygenase inhibiting NSAID for veterinary use under the name Galliprant by Elanco.5
How It Works
Grapiprant works a bit differently from other NSAIDs used frequently in dogs.
How Most Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) Work
Most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work by inhibiting the function of the cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2).
Common NSAIDs that inhibit COX enzymes for dogs include carprofen (Rimadyl®), deracoxib (Deramaxx®), and meloxicam (Metacam®).
The COX enzymes trigger prostaglandins that can be pro-inflammatory like prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) or are needed for normal physiologic functions.
When NSAIDs inhibit the COX enzymes, they reduce inflammation but can also impact normal functions and can cause serious side effects like stomach ulceration and injury to the liver and kidneys.2,6,7
How Grapiprant Works
The pripant class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) differs from other NSAIDs because it directly inhibits one of the four receptors used by a major mediator of inflammation, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
Grapiprant specifically targets the fourth receptor, EP4, without inhibiting the function of the COX enzymes. This reduces the risk of serious side effects.
The EP4 receptor is involved in producing pain and inflammation, but also has pro-tumor effects on the immune system in cancer cells.
Because grapiprant inhibits the EP4 receptor, it may also be able to help dogs with cancer.1,4,8,9
Galliprant Effectiveness in Dogs
Galliprant is approved to treat pain and inflammation in dogs with osteoarthritis and can be used over a long period of time due to its excellent safety profile.1,2
I should point out that this medication is not approved for use in dogs with cancer and has not been studied for its effectiveness or safety in dogs with cancer.5,10 However, like all drugs, once it is approved for use in one circumstance, it can be used by veterinarians for other circumstances as they see fit. (Most drugs are used “off-label” in veterinary medicine, because most drugs are approved for use in humans.)
Grapiprant’s safety profile and its targeting of the EP4 receptor has encouraged veterinarians to prescribe it, because it may be effective at reducing cancer-associated pain in some dogs.3
When to Not Use
Galliprant should not be used in dogs under 9 months of age or under eight pounds.
Galliprant should not be given to dogs already taking another NSAID, aspirin, or corticosteroids as there may be toxic adverse effects.5,10
Galliprant is less effective than other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) at controlling acute pain (over a 24-hour period). It is most effective at managing chronic pain.11
Galliprant for Dogs Dosage
The recommended dose of Galliprant is 2mg/kg of bodyweight once per day. It is sold in flavored 20, 60, and 100mg tablets.5,10
Galliprant is most effective when given on an empty stomach. It can be given at any time of day but giving it in the morning will allow your dog to take it on an empty stomach and start their day with pain relief.
If your dog vomits after taking this medication, you can try giving the next dose with a small treat. If vomiting continues, you should consult your veterinarian to determine the best course of action.12,13
Your dog should start feeling better 1-2 hours after taking the medication.14
What If I Miss a Dose?
If your dog misses a dose of Galliprant, you should give it when you remember.
If it is close to the time of the next scheduled dose, you should skip the dose you missed and give the next dose as usual. After that, you should resume the regular dosing schedule.
Avoid doubling-up or giving extra doses of this medication.14
Storage and Handling
This medication should be stored in the original prescription container, away from light and at room temperature below 86°F.10,14
Side Effects of Galliprant for Dogs
Grapiprant has a wide safety margin that was confirmed in large field studies of over 250 dogs with osteoarthritis.
Galliprant can be administered safely when used with other therapies such as vaccinations, antibiotics, and flea, tick, and parasitic worm treatments.2,10,15
Galliprant can be used safely for a long period of time. In one study, 25 times the recommended dose was given to dogs for 9 months to assess safety. All the dogs remained healthy at the end of the study with only mild side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting.2,12
Side effects in dogs receiving Galliprant are generally mild but may include:10,15
- Mucoid, watery, or bloody diarrhea
- Reduced appetite
- Reductions in serum (blood) albumin and total protein
Galliprant does not appear to cause significant injury to the liver, kidneys, or stomach at this time, but as a relatively new drug, we don’t have as much clinical experience as we would like. According to one study, Galliprant does not cause injury to the liver, kidneys, or stomach, even at high doses.2
Your veterinarian will still want to monitor labwork while your pet takes this medication to be sure that all is well.
Grapiprant might cause changes in the effectiveness of other medications given at the same time. Drugbank Online lists 212 medications that may have interactions with grapiprant.5 It is important to discuss all other medications or supplements your dog may be taking with your veterinarian before starting grapiprant.
Galliprant should be used with caution in dogs who are homozygous for the MDR1 mutation. It may cause the medication to be at a blood concentration six times higher than in other dogs.1,16
As with all medications and supplements, you should consult your veterinarian before using Galliprant for your dog.
- Sartini I, Giorgi M. Grapiprant: A snapshot of the current knowledge. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2021;44(5):679-688. doi:10.1111/jvp.12983
- Rausch-Derra LC, Huebner M, Rhodes L. Evaluation of the safety of long-term, daily oral administration of grapiprant, a novel drug for treatment of osteoarthritic pain and inflammation, in healthy dogs. Am J Vet Res. 2015;76(10):853-859. doi:10.2460/ajvr.76.10.853
- Kirkby Shaw K, Rausch‐Derra LC, Rhodes L. Grapiprant: an EP 4 prostaglandin receptor antagonist and novel therapy for pain and inflammation. Vet Med Sci. 2016;2(1):3-9. doi:10.1002/vms3.13
- Ching MM, Reader J, Fulton AM. Eicosanoids in Cancer: Prostaglandin E2 Receptor 4 in Cancer Therapeutics and Immunotherapy. Front Pharmacol. 2020;11:819. doi:10.3389/fphar.2020.00819
- Grapiprant: Uses, Interactions, Mechanism of Action | DrugBank Online. Accessed December 9, 2022. https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/DB12836
- Limongelli V, Bonomi M, Marinelli L, et al. Molecular basis of cyclooxygenase enzymes (COXs) selective inhibition. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2010;107(12):5411-5416. doi:10.1073/pnas.0913377107
- Bergh MS, Budsberg SC. The Coxib NSAIDs: Potential Clinical and Pharmacologic Importance in Veterinary Medicine. J Vet Intern Med. 2005;19(5):633-643. doi:10.1111/j.1939-1676.2005.tb02741.x
- Musser ML, Viall AK, Phillips RL, Hostetter JM, Johannes CM. Analysis of gene expression of prostaglandin EP4 receptor in canine osteosarcoma. Can J Vet Res Rev Can Rech Veterinaire. 2021;85(1):68-71.
- Musser ML, Viall AK, Phillips RL, Hostetter JM, Johannes CM. Gene expression of prostaglandin EP4 receptor in three canine carcinomas. BMC Vet Res. 2020;16(1):213. doi:10.1186/s12917-020-02431-2
- Galliprant Product Insert, Elanco. Accessed December 9, 2022. https://www.elancolabels.com/us/galliprant-with-tear-off
- 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 Vet Res. 2019;15(1):309. doi:10.1186/s12917-019-2052-0
- Rausch‐Derra LC, Rhodes L, Freshwater L, Hawks R. Pharmacokinetic comparison of oral tablet and suspension formulations of grapiprant, a novel therapeutic for the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis in dogs. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2016;39(6):566-571. doi:10.1111/jvp.12306
- Łebkowska-Wieruszewska B, Barsotti G, Lisowski A, Gazzano A, Owen H, Giorgi M. Pharmacokinetics and estimated bioavailability of grapiprant, a novel selective prostaglandin E 2 receptor antagonist, after oral administration in fasted and fed dogs. N Z Vet J. 2017;65(1):19-23. doi:10.1080/00480169.2016.1241727
- Grapiprant, Plumb’s Veterinary Medication Guides. Accessed December 9, 2022. https://dogcatdoc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/VMG-Grapiprant-GALLIPRANT.pdf
- Rausch-Derra L, Huebner M, Wofford J, Rhodes L. A Prospective, Randomized, Masked, Placebo-Controlled Multisite Clinical Study of Grapiprant, an EP4 Prostaglandin Receptor Antagonist (PRA), in Dogs with Osteoarthritis. J Vet Intern Med. 2016;30(3):756-763. doi:10.1111/jvim.13948
- Heit MC, Mealey KL, King SB. Tolerance and Pharmacokinetics of GalliprantTM Administered Orally to Collies Homozygous for MDR1-1Δ. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2021;44(5):705-713. doi:10.1111/jvp.12984
Galliprant® is a registered trademark of Aratana Therapeutics, Inc., manufactured for Elanco US Inc.
Rimadyl® is a registered trademark of Zoetis Services LLC
Deramaxx® is a registered trademark of Novartis
Metacam® is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH
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