Difference Between Adequan and Legend

A major aspect of concern while raising a horse is the health of its joints. This impacts the performance and even the overall health of the animal. Adequan and Legend are two therapies for horses that essentially prevent and heal inflammation in the joints. However, they are not interchangeable medications and have several differences between them.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Adequan is an intramuscular injection for joint issues in horses, while Legend is an intravenous treatment.
  2. Adequan contains polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, whereas Legend has hyaluronate sodium as its active ingredient.
  3. Adequan repairs cartilage and reduces inflammation, while Legend improves joint lubrication and swelling.

Adequan vs Legend

Adequan is a brand name for polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, or PSGAG, which is a type of drug known as a disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug (DMOAD). Legend is a brand name for hyaluronate sodium, a joint fluid modifier used to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Adequan vs Legend

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Adequan is generally the first choice of medicine for joint health. It affects the compression capabilities as well as the Hyaluronic Acid concentration of a joint. In doing so, the condition of the articular cartilage improves. This results in long-term health benefits. A veterinarian must administer the treatment, but it is relatively affordable.

Meanwhile, Legend works on the synovial cells responsible for producing a specific fluid that aids joint structure. The medication improves the condition of the synovial cells, leading to better quality fluid and a reduction in inflammatory mediators. In doing so, the inflammation in joints is drastically decreased. However, the cost of this medicine is more expensive.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAdequanLegend
ConstituentIts primary constituent is a polysulfated glycosaminoglycan.Its primary constituent is Hyaluronic Acid.
AffectIt affects the cartilage matrix of a joint.It affects the synovial cells around a joint capsule.
Loading Dose   The loading dose is given every four days for a span of 28 days, seven times in total.The loading dose is given once a week for a total of four weeks.
AdministrationIt is injected into the muscles.It is injected into the veins.
ResultsThe results are noticeable within a few days.The results are noticeable within one or two weeks.
CostIt is on the cheaper end.It is more expensive.

What is Adequan?

Adequan is an injectable medication that is generally used on horses. Sometimes, veterinarians even use it on dogs. Its aim is to manage the range of motion that gets lowered due to conditions such as arthritis. For this, it mainly works on the cartilage matrix of the joint. The primary constituent of Adequan is a polysulfated glycosaminoglycan.

Studies have shown that this chemical has the potential to suppress inflammation caused in the cartilage. It is known to be relatively safer than other medications. However, there is a risk of bleeding when given to animals. Other side effects include joint pain, lameness, swelling and even infection.

The administration of the drug involves a series of injections that are given to the muscles. This is done every four days for a span of 28 days. The loading dose is given throughout seven treatments. When this ends, the injection is given twice every month. The results are generally noticeable within a few days.

The cost of this medication is more affordable than several other treatments. However, the cost of getting it done by a veterinarian makes it heavy on the pockets. Despite the risks involved, Adequan is known to be the first choice of medication for joint health.

adequan scaled

What is Legend?

Legend is another medication for joint health given to horses. However, it is not interchangeable with Adequan. Instead of the cartilage matrix, Legend works on synovial cells that are present around a joint capsule. It improves the quality of fluid production by these cells, which results in reduced inflammation. The primary constituent of the medication is Hyaluronic Acid.

Even though Legend is FDA-approved, it has its risks. Common side effects of this medication include fever, lethargy, and even occasional depression. However, there may even be unknown side effects that can adversely affect the animal’s health.

Regardless, the Legend is given through a series of injections into the veins. This must be done starting with a loading dose of one injection weekly for four weeks. After that, it is given to a horse on a monthly basis. The results are generally noticeable within a week or two.

Even though this medication is not the first choice of treatment, its cost is relatively expensive as compared to others. Moreover, veterinarian costs add up to the price, making it even more burdensome. One vile of this medication costs double than that of Adequan. Regardless, it is very popular for horses that are involved in sports.

Main Differences Between Adequan and Legend

  1. The primary constituent of Adequan is a polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, whereas Legend’s is Hyaluronic Acid.
  2. Adequan affects the cartilage matrix of a joint, whereas Legend affects the synovial cells around a joint capsule.
  3. The loading dose for Adequan is given every four days for a span of 28 days, seven times in total, whereas that of Legend is given once a week for a total of four weeks.
  4. Adequan is injected into the muscles, whereas Legend is injected into the veins.
  5. The results of Adequan are noticeable within a few days, whereas that of Legend are noticeable within one or two weeks.
  6. Adequan is on the cheaper end, whereas Legend is more expensive.
  1. https://beva.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.2042-3306.2010.00324.x
  2. https://beva.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/evj.13489
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