AQHA Approves New Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory for Horses

American Quarter Horse Association

The American Quarter Horse Association approved for immediate use, Surpass, a new nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. The AQHA Executive Committee approved the medication during their January meeting to keep in line with the rules of the United States Equestrian Federation Inc., which permitted therapeutic use of Surpass late last year.

Surpass, chemical name diclofenac, is a topical cream used for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in horses’ hock, knee, fetlock and pastern joints. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medication must be administered according to recommendations to ensure compliance with maximum allowable plasma levels.

The rule specifying the guidelines for use of Surpass will be added to AQHA’s 2006 Official Handbook. The rule will read as follows:

Diclofenac (Surpass) – The maximum permitted plasma concentration of Diclofenac (Surpass) is 0.005 micrograms per milliliter. Every 12 hours, not more than 73 mg of diclofenac liposomal cream should be administered (not more than 146 mg per 24 hour period) to one affected site. This 73 mg dose equals a 5-inch ribbon of cream not greater than ½ inch in width, which should be rubbed thoroughly into the hair over the joint or affected site using gloved hands. Administration of diclofenac cream should be discontinued 12 hours prior to competing. Do not apply diclofenac cream in combination with any other topical preparations including DMSO, nitrofurazone, or liniments and do not use on an open wound. Diclofenac cream should not be administered for more than 10 successive days.

In studies conducted to date, Surpass is proven as a useful anti-inflammatory therapy that is effective in managing clinical lameness. However, it is not a potent analgesic and would not be effective in masking pain.

For more information about Surpass, contact AQHA.
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