Generic Drug Name: Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan
Other Common Names: PSGAG, Adequan
Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan is primarily used to treat degenerative joint disease in dogs, cats, and horses. This condition usually causes limping and joint stiffness and may result from abnormal development, joint injury, or instability of the tendons and ligaments surrounding the animal's joints.
Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan belongs to the class of drugs called cartilage protective agents. It works by inhibiting the enzymes that break down joint cartilage, reducing inflammation, and increasing the thickness of synovial fluid, which is the liquid that lubricates joints.
Joint swelling, inflammation, and pain are the most commonly reported adverse effects associated with use of polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. Problems with bleeding and clotting have also been reported in dogs. Additionally, a small study of dogs undergoing treatment with this drug showed a risk of mild diarrhea. Joint infections are possible without proper injection technique.
Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan should not be used in animals with a joint infection. This drug should also be avoided if surgery is scheduled because it is related to heparin, an anticoagulant, and may prolong bleeding. For this same reason, polysulfated glycosaminoglycan should not be used in animals suffering from coagulation disorders.
It is not known if polysulfated glycosaminoglycan is safe for use in pregnant or nursing animals. Caution is necessary when using this drug in animals with kidney disease. Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan is known to interact with certain other supplements and drugs, including ibuprofen, aspirin, and other anti-inflammatory medications.
Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Any known or suspected overdose of this drug should be reported to a veterinarian right away.
This drug should be stored at room temperature, out of the reach of children and animals, and in its original packaging.
Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan is available as an injectable in concentrations of 100 mg/ml and 250 mg/ml.
The typical dose of polysulfated glycosaminoglycan in dogs is 1 to 2.5 mg/lb (2 to 5 mg/kg) IM every 3 to 5 days for three weeks. For cats, the typical dose is 0.5 to 2.5 mg/lb (1 to 5 mg/kg) IM every 4 days for six doses.
Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.
If a dose of polysulfated glycosaminoglycan is missed, it should be administered right away. If it is almost time for the next dose, the missed dose should be skipped and the normal schedule resumed. Two doses of this drug should not be administered at once.