Field Trial Validation of the Efficacy and Acceptability of Firocoxib, a Highly Selective Cox-2 Inhibitor, in a Group of 96 Lame Horses

Marc Koene, Xavier Goupil, Clemens Kampmann, Peter D. Hanson, Davida Denton, Matthias G. Pollmeier
Journal of Equine Veterinary Science
May 2010

The objective was to generate evidence for clinical efficacy and acceptability of a second generation coxib, firocoxib, administered orally for 14 days to lame horses under field conditions compared with a classic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, vedaprofen, in a prospective, randomized, controlled, double-blinded, multicenter field trial. Ninety-six client-owned horses with American Association of Equine Practitioners score of at least grade 3 lameness or grade 2 lameness plus at least a score of 2 for either pain on palpation, range of motion, or joint swelling were analyzed. Horses were administered 0.1 mg/kg firocoxib orally at 24 hour intervals (n = 48) or 1.0 mg/kg vedaprofen paste at 12 hour intervals for 14 days (single loading dose of 2.0 mg/kg vedaprofen) (n = 48). Physical examinations and lameness evaluations were conducted on Day 1 (V1, before treatment) and on Days 7 (V2) and 14 (V3). Blood chemistry and hematology profiles were also evaluated. With regard to the primary variable, clinical improvement, 83% of the firocoxib-treated horses improved at V3 compared with 65% of vedaprofen-treated horses improved meeting the criteria defined to demonstrate noninferiority of firocoxib to vedaprofen. Health and behavioral abnormalities for side effect detection occurred at the rate of 2% (1 horse) and 8% (4 horses) for firocoxib- and vedaprofen-treated horses, respectively. Changes in hematology and blood chemistry values from V1 to V3 were not significantly different between treatment groups. Firocoxib, formulated as an oral paste was highly effective, well tolerated, and acceptable for the control of pain and inflammation associated with lameness in horses under field conditions.