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Fact or Fiction? Do monthly IM Adequan injections

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  • Fact or Fiction? Do monthly IM Adequan injections

    really do any good? What has the literature shown overall? I was just over at horseadvice.com and the vet who runs the site claims that clinical studies have shown that monthly IM Adequan injections are basically useless. I have a biology degree but I have no desire to wade through all of the literature. Anyone here in the veterinary field or who has had an in-depth discussion with their vet care to chime in?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by grayarabpony; Feb. 8, 2008, 08:40 AM.

  • #2
    My reining gelding is on monthly Adequan injections for mild arthritis. My vet told me that I am better off using Adequan rather than supplements because there are studies that prove that Adequan works where as there are very few studies proving that supplements work. My gelding was only mildly stiff when putting him on Adequan and he now has no stiffness.......for my gelding, I would say that it works.
    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
    RIP San Lena Peppy
    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


    • #3
      When I took my current OTTB off the track at age 6, I started him on Adequan (because I could afford it and my vet said it wouldn't hurt).

      since then 6 years have passed and I stopped giving it to him as I was injured and we sort of forgot. . .

      but he has been in training and I have been in training and correct gymnastic riding (I mean dressage) and 24 turnout has done the trick.

      any unevenness is gone. we thought it would always be there.
      A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


      • #4
        Monthly Cosequin Verses Daily Oral Supps

        Your post didn't ask for personal experiences, but this topic is near-and-dear to me, so I'll just share the following. I put my older gelding with stiffness/arthritis on monthly adequan (after 4 weeks of the loading dose). I never could feel a difference in him and my dressage instructor eventually told me that she didn't want to have lessons with him anymore. He was just too stiff/resistant. I was crushed, especially after having spent all the money on monthly adequan and the loading doses. (I posted about this on the dressage forum a while ago and everyone basically said that its not fair to try to make an older arthritic horse do dressage...)

        In desperation and with very little hope, I tried oral supplements for the very first time. I tried the two "big guns" together: cosequin ASU + Cetyl M. The difference is *UNBELIEVABLE* !!! I now have a soft supple horse. Even my instructor said "You have a new horse".

        I know the studies say that oral supplements aren't absorbed or whatever, and that its a waste of money, so I don't know why I have a dramatic improvement. ?


        • Original Poster

          I thought that one of the oral supplements had some special sort of formulation that is patented so that the ingredients will be absorbed -- can someone chime in on this?


          • #6
            Cosequin has a patented technique where they're creating a molecule that actually is small enough to pass through membranes--whereas most preparations of glucosamine are simply too large (molecularly) to do that.

            Regarding Adequan...not sure how much info you're looking for....but when it comes to efficacy, Cosequin Adequan and Legend all have independent empirical data supporting efficacy.

            On a personal note, I used Adequan w/ my geriatric arthritic horse and it was terrific.
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...


            • Original Poster

              I want to know how many studies, the number of subjects in studies, and what percentage of horses improved.... that may be too much to ask, I know. I'm just confused by what I read over on horseadvice.


              • #8
                Look at the Adequan web site--I think you will find a link to the independent research there.


                • #9

                  adequan clearly works and the more often the better in my experience
                  however, right now my mare is on adequan and legend and i alternate the shots every two weeks, so one week she gets adequan, then two weeks later, legend, then two weeks later adequan. so that's a monthly adequan and monthly legend. i definitely see the difference, she feels good, looks sound. i give her an extra shot of legend before competition. it runs me no more than oral supps (she was on recovery eq which i thought worked well until i tried adequan) and i get better results.

                  edited to say that if someone thinks i'm wasting my $ on this regiment, please let me know!
                  TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                  • Original Poster

                    I found an adequancanine site, but that's it.


                    • #11
                      I went to grad school with the vets who tested Adequan (Kawcek et al). Adequan is made by Luitpold so look at thier web site. However those studies are small and geared to FDA approval. Larger studies have been done subsequently e.g Kristiansen and Kold or Todhunter et al. both used over 100 horses. They all show good effect.



                      • #12
                        One of the vets at one of the practises I use told me a story about an experiment he preformed on his personal mare. She had a plethora of joint issues, very turned in in the front, and quite turned out in the back. At the age of 6 she developed arthritic changes in her knees and hocks. He took radiographs and started her on Adequan, did a loading dose and did monthly shot thereafter. Every 3 months he took new radiographs to compare and he said you could SEE her joints improving. She's now into her twenties and he still radiographs her knees every 6 months. Says they look BETTER than they did as a 6 year old. He says Adequan is the ONLY joint injection therapy he recommends because he has SEEN it work. That being said he also says he will never push an owner to do injections because he knows the cost of it and probably wouldn't have done it at all if he wasn't a vet with access to radiographs and medications at cost.
                        Life is short; live in colour.


                        • #13
                          Cosequin has a patented technique where they're creating a molecule that actually is small enough to pass through membranes--whereas most preparations of glucosamine are simply too large (molecularly) to do that.
                          Umm, glucosamine is pretty much glucosamine. It's very small and permeates membranes very readily. Do you mean chondroitin sulfate? Their very own "trials" (I use the term loosely) show oral bioavailability for both molecules to be VERY LOW for horses. What the relevance is of their "special" chondroitin molecule, I have no idea. But patents on products like this don't mean very much in the wide world of research.
                          Click here before you buy.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                            really do any good? What has the literature shown overall? I was just over at horseadvice.com and the vet who runs the site claims that clinical studies have shown that monthly IM Adequan injections are basically useless. I have a biology degree but I have no desire to wade through all of the literature. Anyone here in the veterinary field or who has had an in-depth discussion with their vet care to chime in?

                            Thank you.

                            I think that if you just start the monthly injections WITHOUT doing the 7 shot loading dose first you may very well be wasting your money. That said, if you start off with the loading dose and then continue with a dose AS NEEDED (which is often only once a month for many horses) you will probably see improvement. Adequan is proven to repair joints. According to my vet studies exist that prove that the drug effectively helps to rebuild cartilage in the joints. She adamantly suggests Adequan for joints vs. a oral supplement, especially in terms of preventative care.

                            The only time it is not as effective according to her is when the cartilage in the joints is not the issue for an older horse but a lack of joint fluid is the cause for pain etc... In such cases Legend or HA is more effective. However, I dont' believe Legend has any studies available that prove any longterm effects as far as joint repair. Legend is a more short term drug.

                            I personally plan to switch my horse over to Adequan this spring for his joint supplement. It is cheaper than a regular joint supplement and it acts like a preventative for horses that dont' have any real issues as far as arthritis at this time.


                            • #15
                              When I vetted my horse, he showed changes in his front fetlocks that concerned the vet. I bought him anyways, started him on the adequan and used the loading dose. When he went in later on an unrelated visit, one of the more pessimistic vets in the state (VA peeps know who!) said the joints looked fine, couple changes but nothing that concerned him. I'm sold.


                              • #16
                                I switched from Corta-Flx w/ HA to Adequan about a year ago (per my founder vet), and have really noticed improvement! When Bo was diagnosed in December with a joint trying to fuse, going to a shot once a week for about 6 weeks helped with soundness issues. I haven't re-xrayed the joint yet, but the vet mentioned that Adequan sometimes helps with joint fusion for joints already in the process of fusing (I think from his experience). In any case, my horse felt better and that was all that mattered to me. I still need to get the joint re-x-rayed though.
                                RIP Bo, the real Appassionato


                                • #17
                                  Anyone who has had positive results....
                                  How soon after you started the loading dose did you notice a change?
                                  I'm on shot 4 of the 7 per month loading dose and haven't noticed a major difference yet.
                                  Last edited by ButterflyIris; Feb. 6, 2008, 11:00 PM.


                                  • #18

                                    Remember that my guy has some pretty serious issues, but to answer I noticed some changes during the loading dose. By month 3 he felt much better!
                                    RIP Bo, the real Appassionato


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by ButterflyIris View Post
                                      Anyone who has had positive results....
                                      How soon after you started the loading dose did you notice a change?
                                      I'm on shot 4 of the 7 per month loading dose and haven't noticed a major difference yet.
                                      with my mare, I didn't see any major change until the 6th injection. After the 7th the difference was incredible!

                                      For years, I was able to keep my arthritic mare comfortable with just supplements (Hylasport by Horsetech). Last year we originally though Lizzy had hurt her back and let her have some time off to heal. When it didn't get better I had the chiroprachter out to look at her and said it was her hocks causing the back problems. The arthritis had worsned past the point that the supplements alone worked.

                                      Started the Adequan and after the loading dose period it was amazing the difference.
                                      "You are under arrest for operating your mouth under the influence of
                                      ignorance!" Officer Beck


                                      • #20
                                        My horse gets cosqeuin as a daily supplement and Polyglycan IV injections. Adequan and Legend work really well, but Polyglycan is both of those combined into one, and it is SO much cheaper. My vet recommended it to me, and it really helped me 14 yr old eventer.