Meclofenamic Acid

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me-kloe-fen-AM-ik AS-ed - Pronunciation guide

Brand Names

  • Arquel


Rx symbolMeclofenamic acid is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with effects similar to those of aspirin.  It does not speed healing or cure the underlying problem, but makes the horse more comfortable by reducing pain, inflammation, and fever.


Meclofenamic acid is prescribed for musculoskeletal pain from soft tissue injury, bone and joint problems, and laminitis.  It works by inhibiting the body's production of prostaglandins and other chemicals that stimulate the body's inflammatory response.  Because it can take a day or two before the effects are seen, other NSAIDs are more commonly used for colic and other acute problems, such as fevers.

Dosage and Administration

Prescription medicationMeclofenamic Acid
Method Dosage
(click row for calculator)
Concentration Period Duration
Oral 2.2 mg/kg 500 mg/packet Daily 5-7 days


  • Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
  • Extra-label use of drugs in treating animals is allowable only by licensed veterinarians within the context of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship, and does not include drug use in treating animals by the layman (except under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian).
  • Calculator is for educational purposes only. Follow your veterinarian's instructions regarding use of this, or any medication.

Side Effects

Adverse reactions to meclofenamic acid are uncommon.  As with other NSAIDs, the most common side effects include gastrointestinal tract ulcers and bleeding, colic, and diarrhea.  Decreased red blood cell count due to bleeding may occur.  Horses with heavy infestations of bots may be more likely to have GI problems.


Meclofenamic acid should be avoided or carefully monitored in horses that are allergic to aspirin, have liver or kidney disease, or gastrointestinal problems.

Studies in other animals show that meclofenamic acid can delay labor and cause skeletal abnormalities in the fetus. It should be used in pregnant or nursing mares only when potential benefits outweigh the risks.

If used with foals, particular care should be taken to avoid GI ulceration and maintain kidney function.  Use should be closely monitored, and drugs to protect the GI tract, such as omeprazole, may be used.

Meclofenamic acid is FDA approved for use with horses and is a prescription drug.  U.S. federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the lawful written or oral order of a licensed veterinarian.

Meclofenamic acid is either prohibited or regulated in most competitions.  It is important to check with the proper regulatory group.


Meclofenamic acid should not be combined with other anti-inflammatory drugs that cause GI ulcers, such as corticosteroids or aspirin, that may increase blood loss due to GI side effects.

Meclofenamic acid should not be combined with anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin and sulfa antibiotics.


Overdoses usually shows signs of toxicity, including loss of appetite, colic, diarrhea, ulcers in the mouth, and depression.




About the Author

EquiMed Staff

EquiMed staff writers team up to provide articles that require periodic updates based on evolving methods of equine healthcare. Compendia articles, core healthcare topics and more are written and updated as a group effort. Our review process includes an important veterinarian review, helping to assure the content is consistent with the latest understanding from a medical professional.