Thehorse.com - Full Article
by: Christa Lesté-Lasserre
September 07 2010, Article # 16922
Some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) at low therapeutic levels might be helpful for horses with inflammation between competitions, so clearer and more current information is needed about detection times for anti-doping testing, according to a Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) committee. This committee--the FEI List Group--maintains the official list of controlled and prohibited substances for the organization.
The FEI List Group publicly announced over the weekend its recommendation that more research be carried out to determine the exact amount of time low doses of phenylbutazone(Bute) and flunixin are detectable in a horse's blood. With this knowledge competitors can feel confident about treating their horses therapeutically after and between competitions, without fearing disqualification from an upcoming event, said the group's chair, John McEwen, BVMS, MRCVS, who is also the FEI Veterinary Committee chair and the team veterinarian for the British Equestrian Federation.
However, the recommendation does not change the status of phenylbutazone and flunixin as "Controlled Medications" on the official FEI Prohibited Substances List, adopted April 5 in conjunction with the new Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations. McEwen said all NSAID drugs should continue to be prohibited during competitions, and drug testing for these substances should go on as before. The FEI does not currently prohibit the use of NSAIDs between competitions, provided they are no longer detectable at competition testing, and the new recommendation does not change this.
"What we're recommending is practical guidance and support, with clear, accurate, modern levels available," he said. "This will empower those who have the horses' care in their hands to access information that is reliable, to allow them to treat with NSAIDs between competitions...
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