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How to Use Adequan

| Updated September 26, 2017

Adequan is the brand name of polysulfated glycasaminoglycan. It is used either to alleviate or prevent degenerative joint disease, more commonly called arthritis. The most commonly used form is Adequan i.m., the intramuscular form. There is an intra-articular form, but it is not prescribed as often.

Remove the dose (500 mg unless your veterinarian prescribes a different dose) from the refrigerator about an hour before giving the injection. This will make the injection more comfortable for your horse.

Give your horse the injection in a large muscle mass (neck and haunches are used most often). One of Adequan i.m.'s good points is that it does not require a veterinarian to give the shot (as hock injections do) and is easier to give than an intra-articular injection (such as Legend or Adequan i.a.).

See the effects of the Adequan i.m. within a few hours. Your horse should continue to improve over the next few days, though it may not be noticeable.

Watch your horse for signs of an allergic reaction in the injection site (swelling, irritated skin, sensitivity). Even though Adequan i.m. is not known to cause allergies, it's a good habit to get into. You do not have to watch for signs of gastrointestinal problems as you would with an NSAID.

Repeat the doses every four days for twenty-eight days if your horse is being treated for an acute degenerative joint disease attack. If you're using Adequan i.m. as a preventative medication, you may only have to give it every six weeks per your veterinarian's instructions.


  • If your horse is difficult about receiving injections, ask someone who is more experienced with injections to help you.

    Be careful when giving injections yourself about not getting intramuscular injections into the bloodstream. Some medications can be dangerous if they get into the bloodstream.