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Adequan Joint Repair

Pharmaceutical Name: Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan
Active Life: up to 96 hours
Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan is a veterinary medicine that is used to treat degenerative joint conditions in animals such as degenerative and/or traumatic arthritis, ligament damage, and numerous other conditions (1). The compound is manufactured for the specific treatment in equine and canine medicine, but it not limited to simply those animals. It is prescribed to a vast array of species.

In terms of human use, there have been no products containing polysulfated glycosaminoglycan that have been approved for human use. However this has not stopped countless individuals from self medicating with the help of this drug.

The attractive qualities of polysulfated glycosaminoglycan include its ability to help rapidly reduce inflammation in damaged joints and help to regenerate some connective tissue and ligaments that have been damaged. Users often reported relieving their immediate joint pain within only a few administrations of the drug. While the effects are not instantaneous, the drug is relatively fast acting.

Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan is similar chemically to mucopolysaccharides, which are found in cartilaginous tissues. It is also an analog of heparin; heparin being an anticoagulant. The drug works by inhibiting proteolytic enzymes that can degrade proteoglycans (2). This in turn impedes the decreasing connective tissue flexibility, resistance to compression and resiliency of degenerating joints (1).

It should be noted that polysulfated glycosaminoglycan is ineffective for treatment of acute trauma to joints, tendons or ligaments (2) and should not be used for treating such conditions. This means that severe and sudden injuries will receive little benefit from the administration of the drug.

Use/Dosing of Adequan joint repair

Due to the fact that there have been no polysulfated glycosaminoglycan products have been produced that have been approved for human use, there is no standard dosing procedures for human users. Due to this fact we are left to rely on the anecdotal reports offered by users that have administered this drug themselves.

For the most part users have run doses ranging from 1 amp/1 milliliter twice per week, to as much as 1 amp/milliliter every day. Of course these dosing schedules are primarily informed by other past users and little else due to the lack of information about the drug related to human use.

From what is known about polysulfated glycosaminoglycan the usual veterinary practice is to administer the drug between every 2 to four days for a period of between four to six weeks for both dogs and horses, the primary animals that the drug is produced and marketed for (2, 3). It is believed that any further administration of the drug beyond this protocol would not result any additional benefit.

As is stated below, toxicity is not a concern with polysulfated glycosaminoglycan so using too much of the drug is apparently not a health concern, but rather simply a financial one. Based on this, one may err on the side of larger doses to help and achieve the maximal benefits from the drug while understanding that even large, high performance animals are limited to relatively infrequent dosing in most cases.

Risks/Side Effects of using Adequan joint repair

Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan does not exhibit any serious side effects for users. It is noted in the veterinary literature available that for intramuscular injections of the compound there are nearly no noticeable side effects that could be produced. The drug can be administered via intraarticular injection and some side effects could potentially develop (4), but for human users this will not be an issue.

Toxicity issues should also not be a major concern for users. In research it was indicated that even when giving animals five times the recommended amount of the compound over an extended number of weeks via intramuscular injection, there were still no signs of toxicity within the treated group (4).

It appears that polysulfated glycosaminoglycan is a relatively safe drug for most users to administer notwithstanding any unforeseen complications or individual responses.


1. Caron JP, Kaneene JB, Miller R. Results of a survey of equine practitioners on the use and perceived efficacy of polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1996 Nov 1;209(9):1564-8.

2. Hendrix DV, Ward DA, Barnhill MA. Effects of anti-inflammatory drugs and preservatives on morphologic characteristics and migration of canine corneal epithelial cells in tissue culture. Vet Ophthalmol. 2002 Jun;5(2):127-35.

3. Tung JT, Venta PJ, Caron JP. Inducible nitric oxide expression in equine articular chondrocytes: effects of antiinflammatory compounds. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2002 Jan;10(1):5-12.

4. Susan K. Mikota DVM and Donald C. Plumb, Pharm.D. Elephant Care International, website. 2003-05.

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