Difference Between Adequan and Legend (With Table)

Equine athletes and companion horses face joint issues that can compromise their performance and well-being. Fortunately, veterinary medicine offers several treatment options, including two popular choices: Adequan and Legend. These medications aim to alleviate joint problems and promote the comfort and mobility of horses. In this comprehensive comparison, we will explore the differences between Adequan and Legend, exploring their uses, compositions, administration, and considerations in equine joint therapy.

Adequan: A Closer Look

Adequan, or polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG), is a medication primarily designed to manage joint diseases and disorders in horses. It belongs to the disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs) class and is used to address conditions such as osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease.

Adequan Composition

  • Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan: Adequan’s active ingredient is PSGAG, a synthetic compound with properties similar to the natural glycosaminoglycans found in joint cartilage and synovial fluid.
  • Sterile Solution: It is administered as a sterile solution, in vials.

Administration of Adequan

  1. Intramuscular Injection: Adequan is administered via intramuscular (IM) injection. The medication is injected into a muscle, and its active ingredients are gradually absorbed into the bloodstream.
  2. Loading Dose: Adequan treatment begins with a loading dose involving multiple injections over a specified period (e.g., once every four days for seven doses).
  3. Maintenance Dose: After the loading dose, a maintenance dose is recommended at regular intervals, such as once a month or as directed by a veterinarian.

Advantages of Adequan

  • Cartilage Support: Adequan aids in the preservation and repair of joint cartilage, helping to reduce joint inflammation and pain.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: It has anti-inflammatory properties, which can alleviate joint discomfort and lameness.
  • Long-Lasting Effects: Adequan’s effects are known to persist for an extended period, making it suitable for ongoing joint therapy.

Legend: A Closer Look

Legend, or hyaluronic acid, is a medication primarily used to address joint issues and lameness in horses. It belongs to the class of intra-articular (IA) therapies and is designed to provide relief from conditions like osteoarthritis and synovitis.

Legend Composition

  • Hyaluronic Acid: Legend’s active ingredient is hyaluronic acid, a natural synovial fluid and joint cartilage component.
  • Sterile Solution: It is administered as a sterile solution, in vials.

Administration of Legend

  1. Intra-Articular Injection: Legend is administered via intra-articular (IA) injection directly into the affected joint(s). This allows the medication to target the joint’s specific site of inflammation.
  2. Frequency: Legend injections are administered at intervals, with the exact schedule determined by the horse’s condition and veterinarian’s recommendations.

Advantages of Legend

  • Synovial Fluid Enhancement: Legend supplements the synovial fluid in the joint, providing lubrication and shock absorption.
  • Reduction in Inflammation: It helps reduce joint inflammation and lameness, promoting greater comfort and mobility.
  • IA Advantage: The intra-articular administration allows for precise delivery to the affected joint, maximizing its therapeutic effects.

A Comparative Analysis

Now, let’s conduct an in-depth comparative analysis of Adequan and Legend across several key aspects:

Active IngredientPolysulfated Glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG)Hyaluronic Acid
Drug ClassDisease-Modifying Osteoarthritis Drug (DMOAD)Intra-Articular Therapy
PurposeManagement of joint diseases and disorders.Addressing joint issues and lameness.
CompositionSterile solution in vials.Sterile solution in vials.
AdministrationIntramuscular (IM) injection.Intra-articular (IA) injection.
Loading DoseOften involves a loading dose with multiple IM injections over a specified period.Typically does not require a loading dose.
Maintenance DoseAdministered at regular intervals (e.g., once a month).Administered at intervals, based on horse’s condition and veterinarian’s guidance.
TargetProvides systemic joint support.Directly targets the affected joint(s).
Synovial FluidSupports synovial fluid and cartilage.Enhances synovial fluid for lubrication.
Anti-InflammatoryOffers anti-inflammatory properties.Reduces inflammation in the joint.
Longevity of EffectsEffects are known to persist for an extended period.Typically requires repeated IA injections.
ApplicationSuitable for ongoing joint therapy.Often used for specific joint issues or lameness.

When to Use Each Medication


  • Adequan is an excellent choice for horses with chronic joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease.
  • It is particularly suitable for horses requiring long-term joint support and management.
  • Adequan is administered via intramuscular injection and is a systemic treatment.


  • Legend is ideal for horses with acute or specific joint issues that require prompt relief.
  • It is commonly used for conditions like synovitis, joint inflammation, or lameness.
  • Legend is administered via intra-articular injection, directly targeting the affected joint(s).


While both Adequan and Legend offer valuable solutions for equine joint therapy, there are certain considerations to keep in mind:

  • Loading Dose: Adequan requires a loading dose involving several intramuscular injections over a specified period. This loading phase may not be needed with Legend.
  • Longevity of Effects: Adequan is known for its long-lasting effects, which makes it suitable for ongoing joint support. In contrast, Legend may require repeated intra-articular injections for sustained relief.
  • Administration Method: Adequan is administered intramuscularly, providing systemic support. Conversely, Legend involves intra-articular injections, directly targeting the affected joint(s).
  • Veterinarian Guidance: The choice between Adequan and Legend and the dosing schedule should be determined by a veterinarian based on the horse’s condition and specific needs.


Adequan and Legend are valuable tools in the arsenal of equine joint therapy, offering distinct benefits and applications. Adequan excels in providing systemic joint support and is well-suited for horses with chronic joint conditions requiring long-term management. In contrast, Legend is a targeted solution for acute joint issues, offering rapid relief through intra-articular injections.

The choice between these medications should be guided by the horse’s condition, the nature of the joint problem, and the recommendations of a veterinarian. Both medications improve the comfort, mobility, and overall well-being of equine athletes and companion horses, allowing them to lead healthy and active lives.

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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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