Amantadine and Galliprant for Dogs

When it comes to our four-legged friends, we want nothing but the best, especially when they are in pain. Arthritis and chronic pain in dogs is a common condition that requires meticulous management. Recent advances in veterinary medicine have brought two potent drugs to the forefront – amantadine and Galliprant (grapiprant). Let’s dive deep into the benefits, dosage, and potential side effects of these medications, and how they work together to alleviate canine discomfort.

Amantadine: An Ally Against Pain

Amantadine is an antiviral drug that has found a new lease on life in the field of pain management. Initially developed to combat the flu, scientists discovered that amantadine has another remarkable feature: it can mitigate ‘wind-up’ pain – a term referring to the escalating pain response due to repetitive, low-level stimulation.

This drug works by antagonizing NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors, which play a crucial role in pain signal amplification. As a result, amantadine can help manage both acute and chronic pain, including osteoarthritis.

Galliprant: The Gentle Guard Against Inflammation

Galliprant is a relatively new, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that has been gaining popularity for its specificity and safety profile. It targets the EP4 receptor, a key player in the production of prostaglandin E2, a compound responsible for pain, inflammation, and fever.

Unlike other NSAIDs that may affect the functioning of other receptors, leading to possible gastrointestinal, kidney, or liver issues, Galliprant’s precision makes it a more tolerable option for long-term use in managing canine osteoarthritis.

Amantadine and Galliprant: A Dynamic Duo

When used in combination, amantadine and Galliprant can offer a comprehensive pain management plan for dogs suffering from chronic pain or osteoarthritis. Galliprant acts by reducing inflammation, while amantadine helps to prevent the escalation of pain signals, providing a synergistic effect.

Dosage and Administration

As with any medication, correct dosage is essential. Your vet will determine the appropriate dosage based on your dog’s weight, overall health, and severity of symptoms. Generally, both medications are administered orally, once a day. It’s crucial to adhere to the prescribed regimen to ensure maximum effectiveness and minimize potential side effects.

Side Effects and Precautions

While both amantadine and Galliprant are generally well-tolerated, some dogs might experience side effects. With amantadine, these can include restlessness, nausea, or diarrhea. For Galliprant, possible adverse effects might include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, or lethargy.

Always monitor your dog’s behavior and health when introducing new medications and report any concerns to your vet promptly. Additionally, regular check-ups and blood work are necessary for dogs on long-term medication to ensure their safety and wellbeing.


Chronic pain doesn’t have to mean chronic suffering for your furry friends. With the right knowledge and medication like amantadine and Galliprant, your dog can continue to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, pain-free. Remember, always consult with your vet before introducing new medications and follow their guidance for the best outcome.

FAQs About Amantadine and Galliprant

Q: How does amantadine work in pain management for dogs?

Amantadine works by inhibiting the activity of the NMDA receptor, a critical player in the transmission and amplification of pain signals. By doing this, it can help control ‘wind-up’ pain or escalating pain responses to repetitive, low-level stimulation. This unique action makes it suitable for treating both acute and chronic pain, including the discomfort associated with osteoarthritis in dogs.

Q: How is Galliprant different from traditional NSAIDs?

Galliprant distinguishes itself from traditional NSAIDs with its high degree of specificity. It selectively blocks the EP4 receptor, which is primarily involved in pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. By focusing on this receptor, Galliprant minimizes the risk of side effects common with other NSAIDs, like gastrointestinal upset or renal issues, making it a safer option for long-term use.

Q: Can Amantadine and Galliprant be given together?

Yes, these two medications can be given in tandem. Their complementary mechanisms of action offer a broad spectrum of pain management. While Galliprant reduces inflammation at the source, amantadine prevents the amplification of pain signals. This combined approach can effectively manage chronic pain, such as that from osteoarthritis. Always consult with your veterinarian before starting any new medication regimen.

Q: What are the potential side effects of these medications?

Although generally well-tolerated, potential side effects can occur. With amantadine, dogs might experience restlessness, nausea, or diarrhea. Galliprant may cause side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, or lethargy. Always monitor your dog’s health when starting a new medication and report any adverse reactions to your vet promptly.

Q: How long does it take for amantadine to work in dogs?

The onset of action for amantadine can vary, but typically, improvements in pain management are observed within a few days to a week. However, it’s important to maintain regular administration as prescribed by the vet to ensure sustained relief.

Q: Are these medications safe for dogs with other health conditions?

The safety of any medication will depend on the dog’s specific health profile. Galliprant, being highly selective, is usually well-tolerated, but caution should be exercised in dogs with severe cardiac, hepatic, or renal dysfunction. Amantadine is also generally safe but should be used cautiously in pets with congestive heart failure, kidney disease, or seizure disorders. Always provide your vet with a complete health history so they can make informed decisions about your pet’s medication regimen.

Q: Can dogs take amantadine and gabapentin together?

Yes, amantadine and gabapentin can be used in combination under the supervision of a vet. Gabapentin is primarily used for managing neuropathic pain, while amantadine targets NMDA receptors to control the amplification of pain signals. This combination can be beneficial in managing severe or persistent chronic pain conditions.

Q: Can a dog have an allergic reaction to Galliprant or amantadine?

Like any medication, Galliprant and amantadine carry a risk of allergic reaction, although it’s relatively rare. Symptoms might include difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, tongue, or face, or hives. If any of these signs are observed, seek immediate veterinary attention.

Q: How are Galliprant and amantadine administered?

Both Galliprant and amantadine are oral medications. Galliprant is typically a once-daily tablet, and its palatable formulation often makes it easy to administer. Amantadine is available in tablet or liquid form and is generally given once to twice daily depending on your vet’s recommendation.

Q: Can Galliprant and amantadine be used for post-operative pain relief in dogs?

Amantadine and Galliprant may be part of a multimodal pain management plan post-operatively. Galliprant helps to control inflammation that arises from surgical procedures, while amantadine’s action on the NMDA receptors helps to prevent wind-up pain that could follow surgery. However, it’s crucial to consult with your vet, as every dog’s situation and pain management needs are unique.

Q: What should I do if I miss giving a dose of Galliprant or amantadine?

If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it’s close to the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never double up on doses to compensate for the missed one, as this could lead to medication overdose.

Q: How should I store these medications?

Both amantadine and Galliprant should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and direct sunlight. Make sure to keep them out of reach from children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion. Always check the expiration date on the bottle before administering the medication.

Q: Are there alternatives to Galliprant and amantadine for canine pain management?

Indeed, a variety of options exist for managing canine pain, including other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids, and additional adjunctive medications. Alternatives can be dependent on the type and severity of pain, along with the dog’s overall health status. Always discuss alternatives and their potential risks and benefits with your vet.

Q: What kind of pain does amantadine specifically help with in dogs?

Amantadine is often used to manage chronic pain conditions, especially those associated with arthritis and cancer. It’s also beneficial in managing neuropathic pain and ‘wind-up’ pain, which is a state of heightened sensitivity to pain caused by continuous low-level stimulation.

Q: Can I give my dog over-the-counter pain medications instead of Galliprant or amantadine?

Over-the-counter human medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, should not be given to dogs unless prescribed by a vet. These medications can be toxic to dogs, causing severe gastrointestinal, renal, or liver damage. Galliprant and amantadine are prescribed drugs designed with canine physiology in mind, offering safer and more effective pain relief.

Q: How long can my dog safely stay on Galliprant and amantadine?

The duration for which a dog can safely take these medications will depend on several factors including the nature of the pain, the dog’s overall health, and how well the dog tolerates the medication. Long-term use is generally safe under veterinary supervision, with regular monitoring for potential side effects.

Q: What happens if my dog accidentally ingests a higher dose of Galliprant or amantadine?

Overdosing can lead to serious adverse effects. For Galliprant, overdose might cause symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it could lead to renal or hepatic damage. Amantadine overdose might cause agitation, restlessness, or gastrointestinal upset. If your dog ingests more than the prescribed dose, seek veterinary help immediately.

Q: Do Galliprant and amantadine interact with any other medications?

Amantadine and Galliprant may interact with certain other drugs, potentially leading to adverse effects. For example, combining Galliprant with corticosteroids or other NSAIDs may increase the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Amantadine can have interactions with certain antiviral and anti-Parkinson’s medications. Always provide your vet with a complete medication history of your pet.

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