Q. I recently started my dog on Rimadyl for his arthritis and he is like a new dog, almost like a puppy. Is there a version of this medication for humans?

A. Rimadyl (carprofen) was prescribed for humans between 1988 and 1998. In the U.S., it is now exclusively approved for dogs.

Rimadyl is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) a bit like celecoxib (Celebrex), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). Like all NSAIDs, Rimadyl can cause life-threatening ulcers as well as liver and kidney toxicity.

You might get relief from your own joint pain with an NSAID approved for humans. You might also want to try a few home remedies to see if something like a packet of unflavored gelatin in your juice each morning or a tablespoon of Certo or other plant pectin in grape juice can alleviate the soreness and stiffness. You can learn more about these remedies in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

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  1. Mary

    There is a vet/ND on YouTube who says some of the treatments successfully given to animals for various problems have not been solved in humans.
    If one vet doesn’t help your animal, you might switch to another.
    What is a poor human to do?

  2. Pat

    I will not give my dog Rimadyl because of all the side effects, especially liver damage. I use a different regime, which works for him, but may not on all dogs. He takes Dasuquin MSM which is a glucosamine-type supplement. But he also gets Adequan injections every 6-8 weeks. First was used on horses, very minimal side effects, if any. At least there is no risk of ulcers or liver damage like all the other NSAIDs for dogs.
    He went from limping to running like a pup. Been using this routine almost 5 years now. X-rays show he has very bad arthritis but you would not know it. He is 13 1/2 now and runs and plays with other dogs, hikes 10 miles easily.
    Why isn’t something like Adequan used on people?

  3. RCG

    I get a considerable reduction of pain by drinking 6 ozs. of grape juice-fruit pectin in the morning and drinking the same amount of tart cherry juice 1 1/2 hours before going to bed in the evening.
    I sweeten the cherry juice with stevia and buffer it with a handful of low-sugar cereal. It has not worsened acid reflux, even though I have a hiatal hernia. Also, I sleep better and make fewer trips to the bathroom at night.

  4. JT

    We had to take our Lab into emergency care on a Sunday. The vet there gave our older Lab Rimadyl. Within three days he could not walk. Come to find out his liver enzymes were elevated, which was found by his regular vet. He said that Labs, especially older, with elevated enzymes, cannot take Rimadyl. Please be aware of this!

  5. Louise Widacki

    The unflavored gelatin can be sprinkled into oatmeal before cooking.

  6. R.V.

    My 16 yr old dog who is a 19lb Pug mix is now starting to run again after being on Rimadyl 75mg for a few months. Instead of 1/2 tab I’m now giving him 1/4 tablet daily and that seems to work really well.

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