Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan (Adequan®) for Dogs and Cats

Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan (Adequan®) for Dogs and Cats

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Overview of Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan for Dogs and Cats

  •  Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan, known as Adequan® and commonly abbreviated as PSGAG, is used to treat traumatic and non-infectious joint abnormalities and arthritis associated with joint stiffness and limping in dogs and cats.
  • Degenerative joint disease (a form of joint inflammation or arthritis) is very common in animals. Causes include abnormal bone or joint development, instability of the surrounding ligaments and tendons, and damage or injury to the joint. Frequently the cartilage (lubricated pads within the joint) is damaged.
  • Polysulfated glycosaminoglycans, also known as PSGAG, belong to a class of drugs known as cartilage protective agents.
  • PSGAG inhibits enzymes that break down cartilage within joints. It reduces inflammation and increases the thickness of joint fluid.
  • PSGAG is related to the anticoagulant (blood thinner) heparin.
  • Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.

Brand Names and Other Names of Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan

  • This drug is registered for use in animals only.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: Adequan® (Luitpold)

Uses of Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycans for Dogs and Cats

  • PSGAG is used to treat traumatic and non-infectious joint abnormalities and arthritis associated with joint stiffness and limping.

Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, polysulfated glycosaminoglycans can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Polysulfated glycosaminoglycans should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • PSGAG should be avoided if a joint infection is present.
  • PSGAG should be avoided around the time of surgery, due to the potential to prolong bleeding (since the drug is related to the anticoagulant heparin).
  • PSGAG should not be used in animals with known coagulation disorders.
  • Polysulfated glycosaminoglycans may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with polysulfated glycosaminoglycans. Such drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.
  • Adverse effects associated with PSGAG include joint swelling and inflammation, joint infection and pain.
  • In dogs, problems with blood clotting and bleeding problems have been reported.

How Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycans Is Supplied

  • PSGAG is available in injectable form only in 100 mg/ml and 250 mg/ml concentrations.

Dosing Information of Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan for Dogs and Cats

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • For dogs, the dose is 1 mg to 2.5 mg per pound (2 to 5 mg/kg) in the muscle every 3 to 5 days for up to four weeks.
  • For cats, the dose is 0.5 mg to 2.5 mg per pound (1 to 5 mg/kg) in the muscle every 4 days for six doses. Other protocols include using PSGAG at 2.5 mg per pound twice a eek for 4 weeks then weekly for 4 weeks then monthly.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse or prevent the development of resistance.


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