The Science Behind Adequan

How and why these intramuscular injections help safeguard horse health.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Adequan

We have all heard how effective Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) is, however, most of us don’t really know why and how this therapy works. It is not as complicated as it might appear, and this article will shed some light on the subject.

Adequan® i.m. is a therapy to be used for equine noninfectious degenerative joint disease (DJD), often called osteoarthritis. Equine noninfectious DJD commonly affects the knees, hocks, ankles, stifles and coffin joints. Early recognition and treatment can limit the damage and restore the normal “wear and repair balance” in the joints before permanent cartilage or bone damage occurs.

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What is a “balanced” joint? Balanced joints are made up of a healthy synovial membrane, joint fluid and articular cartilage that work together to minimize damage of normal forces. A healthy equine joint is in a constant state of “wear and repair." As normal forces are exerted on the joint, cells actively regenerate and repair the cartilage. The lubricating synovial fluid in the joint also is replaced continually. This constant cycle of renewal, repair and replacement assures that no cartilage loss occurs and a functionally balanced, healthy joint environment is maintained. When DJD occurs, this balance is affected.

Adequan® i.m. stimulates cartilage repair and reverses traumatic joint dysfunction. Extensive studies of Adequan® i.m. have proven that it readily passes through the synovial membrane and is taken up into cartilage by diffusion. This results in the concentration and progressive accumulation of Adequan® i.m. at the site of injury. Proven to treat equine osteoarthritis and associated lameness, Adequan® i.m. breaks the destructive disease cycle, inhibits cartilage damage and stimulates the cartilage repair process.

Check out to see an animated wear and repair cycle explanation.

Care for your young horse's joint health. Download AQHA's FREE Young Horse Joint Health Report today.

For the intramuscular treatment of noninfectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in horses. There are no known contraindications to the use of intramuscular Adequan® i.m. brand polysulfated glycosaminoglycan in horses. Studies have not been conducted to establish safety in breeding horses. Each 5 mL contains 500 mg polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. WARNING: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. Not for use in humans. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.