Stop the Roller-Coaster Effect of Pain and Pain Relief in Your Horse

Tried and true pain relief for horses
Tried and true pain relief for horses Shutterstock

When it comes to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), typically used to treat conditions such as the pain and inflammation associated with equine osteoarthritis,1 horse owners look for treatment that performs on three levels:

  • Safety.
  • Consistency.
  • Convenience.

Tried and True

EQUIOXX® (firocoxib) Brand Products have been tested on more horses in safety studies than any other NSAID,2,3 and remain the only NSAIDs approved by both the AQHA and the USEF for use up to 14 days.4,5,†

Consistent Therapy

Since some NSAIDs have a short half-life, meaning they leave the system fairly quickly, they require multiple doses each day.6 Multiple daily dosing can result in spikes and dips – possibly leaving the horse vulnerable to a roller-coaster effect of pain and pain relief. The active ingredient in EQUIOXX, firocoxib, has a longer half-life than other equine NSAIDs, so its levels stay steady for more hours, helping to eliminate this roller-coaster effect.7

EQUIOXX tablets and paste may be given with or without feed or hay.2 With other NSAIDs, like phenylbutazone, feed — especially hay — delays time to peak effect.8,9

“With EQUIOXX, you can feel confident about achieving a consistent level of therapy for pain and inflammation relief throughout the entire day,” says Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, Manager, Merial Large Animal Veterinary Services. “This means trainers and horse owners can spend less time worrying about whether or not the treatment is providing consistent relief and more time focusing on the horse.”

Three Choices, Same Proven Active Ingredient

EQUIOXX is the only coxib NSAID approved for horses, and it helps control joint pain and inflammation2 associated with osteoarthritis with just one daily dose. EQUIOXX is available in three formulations: injection, paste, and tablet, allowing treatment to fit your horse’s specific needs.

  • Injection (IV) is ideal to initiate therapy and is an excellent option for field and hospital settings.
  • Paste is a convenient form for accurate dosing, especially for small horses and performances horses that are subject to testing.
  • Tablets can be given with or without feed and are ideal for noncompetitive uses.

Talk to your veterinarian for more information and to discuss the best option for your horse.

*Joint pain and inflammation associated with equine osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease.

†EQUIOXX Injection may be used for five of the 14 days.


As with any prescription medication, prior to use, a veterinarian should perform a physical examination and review the horse’s medical history. A veterinarian should advise horse owners to observe for signs of potential drug toxicity. As a class, nonsteroidal antiÔÇÉinflammatory drugs may be associated with gastrointestinal, hepatic and renal toxicity. Use with other NSAIDs, corticosteroids or nephrotoxic medication should be avoided. EQUIOXX has not been tested in horses less than 1 year of age or in breeding horses, or pregnant or lactating mares. For additional information, please refer to the prescribing information or visit

About Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

On January 1st, 2017, Merial became part of the Boehringer Ingelheim group. As the second largest animal health business in the world, Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to making the industry even better at improving animal health. With more than 10,000 employees worldwide, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health has products available in more than 150 markets and a global presence in 99 countries. For more information about Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, click here.

About Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates presently with a total of some 50,000 employees worldwide. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is on researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. In 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 14.8 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 20.3 per cent of net sales. For more information, please visit

®EQUIOXX is a registered trademark of Merial. All other marks are the properties of their respective owners. ©2017 Merial, Inc., Duluth, GA. Merial is now part of Boehringer Ingelheim. All rights reserved. EQUILGN1669 (2/17)

1United States Equestrian Federation. NSAIDs and Your Horse. Available at: Accessed July 26, 2016.

2EQUIOXX product labels and FOI summaries and supplements.

3Data on file at Merial, Clinical Experience Report PHN 471, PR&D 0030701

4American Quarter Horse Association. Conditionally permitted therapeutic medications. Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations. 2017: 45-48. Available at: Accessed February 6, 2017.

5United States Equestrian Federation. Guidelines for Drugs and Medications. 2017: 8-9.

Available at: Accessed February 6, 2017.

6Phenylbutazone Tablets, Le Sueur, MN: Vet One, 2006.

7Data on file at Merial, Pharmacokinetic Study, PR&D 0096601 and the PI for half-life.

8Based on AUC (0-LOQ). Data on file at Merial, Systemic Drug Exposure Study, PR&D 0118201

9Tobin T, et al. Phenylbutazone in the horse: A review. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 1986;9:1-25

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying  up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..