Flunixin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), analgesic, and antipyretic used in horses. It is often formulated as the meglumine salt. In the United States, it is FDA-regulated, and may only be lawfully distributed by order of a licensed veterinarian.
The full analgesic and antipyretic effects usually occur 1-2 hours following treatment, but there is often an effective analgesic effect within approximately 15 minutes.
Flunixin does not treat the underlying problem causing the fever or pain, only the symptoms. Additionally, pain is often useful for a veterinarian to diagnose a horse's condition, and masking it with flunixin may do more harm than good. For this reason, there are many vets who do not wish for the animal to be given Flunixin if colic is suspected, preferring to withhold the drug until the need for colic surgery has been determined. It is therefore advisable to ask the horse's vet before giving the drug.
Flunixin is a prohibited class A drug under FEI rules, and its use is prohibited or restricted by many other equestrian organizations. It can be detected in the blood for 2-3 days, and in the urine up to 15 days following administration.
Dosages are usually reduced for ponies, who are more at-risk for NSAID side-effects, as well as horses with decreased liver or kidney function (such as older horses).
Effect of flunixin meglumine alone and in combination on haemodynamics during bovine endotoxic shock and after treatment
Jan 01, 2011; ABSTRACT To investigate the effect of Flunixin meglumine- a NSAID; alone and in combination with hypertonic saline on endotoxemic...