Generic therapy for equine joint disease returns to the market


The injectable treatment from Vetoquinol was last available for use in 2015.

NexHA for equine osteoarthritis

Image courtesy of Vetoquinol

A hyaluronate sodium therapy (NexHA Injectable Solution; Vetoquinol) for treating equine joint dysfunction associated with osteoarthritis (OA) has returned to the veterinary market with renewed FDA approval. Last available in 2015, this generic solution is administered by intravenous injection, and can by purchased by clients with a veterinarian’s prescription.1

“We are excited to let veterinarians and horse owners know that NexHA is back,” Eric M Alsup, DVM, general manager, Vetoquinol USA, said in a news release.1 “Using affordable generics allows owners to put more money toward other important veterinary services without compromising standards of care.”

A bioequivalent product to Legend hyaluronate solution (Boehringer Ingelheim), the generic therapy is indicated for the managing signs of carpus or fetlock joint debilitation in horses caused by OA-related noninfectious synovitis.1 According to the FDA, OA slowly breaks down breakdown of joint cartilage, which can result in clinical signs such as lameness, stiffness, and joint swelling. Although there is no cure for the condition, appropriate management of OA can help control these signs and improve the quality of life of affected horses.2

Hyaluronate sodium relies on hyaluronic acid as the products’ active ingredient, which acts as a lubricant for articular cartilage. The solution effectively is used to reduce inflammation in the affected joint, improve synovial fluid quality, and reduce the patient’s degree of lameness.3,4 Adverse effects from using hyaluronate sodium therapy that have been voluntarily reported include occasional depression, lethargy, and fever. The therapy has not been evaluated for use breeding horses, as well as pregnant or lactating mares according to the release.1

Vetoquinol acquired the generic solution in 2014 with the acquisition of Bioniche Animal Health. Following nearly a decade of absence on the market, the product was relaunched after improvements to the supply chain were made, according to a company spokesperson. Veterinarians can now order the solution from a Vetoquinol territory manager or a preferred distributor representative.


  1. NexHA (hyaluronate sodium) Injectable Solution returns to market. News release. Vetoquinol. March 4, 2024.
  2. First injectable pentosan for equine osteoarthritis is approved by the FDA. dvm360. December 20, 2022. Accessed March 6, 2024.
  3. Legend (hyaluronate sodium). Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. Accessed March 5, 2024.
  4. Espy B. Lameness and joint medications: general information. American Association of Equine Practitioners. 2026. Accessed March 6, 2024.

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