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NSAID Options: New Pain Reliever for Horses Launched

Press Release

Equioxx (firocoxib), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for use in horses, is now available from Merial. Equioxx is delivered as a paste (similar to paste dewormer) and is FDA-approved for treating joint pain in horses. Equioxx was approved by the FDA after field trials demonstrated its ability to relieve joint pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in horses. Another trial showed the drug’s ability to improve the mobility of treated horses.

Osteoarthritis is known to affect horses of all ages, including the very young. The onset of the disease is commonly due to one or more of the following factors: trauma to the joint, conformation faults, immobilization, improper shoeing, and age.

“Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that can negatively affect a horse’s performance and lead to early retirement,” said Peter Hanson, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, executive director of pharmaceutical research and development projects at Merial. “In trials, Equioxx had impressive results reducing pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. It is a long-awaited NSAID paste designed specifically for horses that has an excellent safety profile.”

Over the years, there has been growing concern about the safety of NSAIDs. Equioxx was also subjected to extensive safety testing in addition to the many horses involved in field studies. A targeted study involving 30 horses of various breeds and sizes evaluated clinically-relevant side effects of using firocoxib to determine the safety profile of the drug. In the study, horses receiving the normal recommended dose did not experience any treatment-related side effects.

“We’re excited to offer veterinarians a new choice for osteoarthritis pain relief that’s backed by clinical and field studies involving so many horses,” Hanson said.

According to study results, Equioxx is absorbed quickly and provides lasting pain relief. One study showed that firocoxib was maintained at adequate blood levels after one dose to ensure optimum effectiveness until the next dose 24 hours later.

Equioxx is approved for up to 14 days of use for the control of pain and inflammation associated with equine osteoarthritis, and it is a prescription product available through a veterinarian. Each syringe of Equioxx is enough to treat a 1,250-pound horse and is marked in 250-pound increments. See for more information.