The FEI has announced detection times for Meloxicam (veterinary formulation known as Metacam®), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve pain and inflammation in the equine athlete. The findings of studies on the use of intravenously or orally administered Meloxicam show the urine and plasma (blood) detection time as 72 hours**. This is the first COX-2 inhibitor on the FEI List of Detection Times, which contains common medications administered out of competition and is listed on the FEI Clean Sport website.
“We are committed to providing the tools to assist our athletes to adhere to the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping Rules, and will add further medication detection times over the coming 12 months,” explains Graeme Cooke, Director of Veterinary Department at the FEI.
Meloxicam (Metacam®) is developed by Boehringer-Ingelheim.
The detection time is the time taken for an active substance administered to a horse by a specified route and dosage to fall below a level that FEI-approved laboratories would declare a sample positive. It is important to note that detection times may vary depending on dose and number of injection sites used.
A detection time is not the same as a withdrawal time. The withdrawal time must be decided by the treating veterinarian and is likely to be based on the detection time and an appropriate safety margin to allow for individual variation.
An outcome of the 2010 FEI Congress on NSAID and Medication Usage in the Equine Athlete was that there should be more access to detection times for COX-2 inhibitors.
**Detection Time agreed with the European Horse Racing Scientific Liaison Committee (EHSLC)