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Did you know we are now offering Equioxx tablets instead of the canine drug Previcox? The Equioxx tablets are new and specific for horses, so we are no longer able to recommend or approve prescriptions for Previcox. Many of our clients have been concerned about the switch, hopefully the following information will help!
What is Previcox or Equioxx? Both of these drugs contain firocoxib, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which is in the same drug family as bute and banamine. The benefit of using firocoxib (versus bute or banamine), is that it is much safer and more "gut friendly" for long term use, or for animals with sensitivity to bute or banamine.
Why have veterinarians been prescribing Previcox instead of Equioxx for horses? In previous years, equine veterinarians prescribed the dog version of this drug in the form of Previcox because the equine version, Equioxx, was only available in a paste or injectable form. These forms of Equioxx were significantly more expensive than the dog version for the same amount of drug. This made Equioxx paste unaffordable for many of our clients. In order to make this great drug available to our patients, we prescribed Previcox in what is called "extra-label" or "off-label" use. The FDA drug laws state that veterinarians cannot legally prescribe an off-label drug (Previcox) when there is a labeled drug available (Equioxx tablets--meaning we are not supposed to prescribe the dog drug when there is an FDA approved version of that same drug labeled for horses). We were able to get around this for many years on a technicality, as there was no tablet form of firocoxib available for horses, only paste.
So what changed?? The drug company that makes Previcox and Equioxx saw what was happening in the equine veterinary industry, and the supply and demand of a tablet pushed them into offering the tablet version of Equioxx. So, since there is an FDA approved version of firocoxib in Equioxx tablet form, we are legally not allowed to prescribe Previcox to horses.
We hope this answers your questions! Please share with other horse friends if they don't follow us on Facebook, and please email or call if you have any further questions about Equioxx tablets.