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TIL-dren - Pronunciation guide

Brand Names



Rx symbolTildren belongs to a class of drugs called bisphophonates (also called diphosphonates). Bisphophonates prevent the loss of bone mass and are used in humans to inhibit bone resorption by blocking activity of osteoclasts, to increase bone density and to inhibit secretion of enzymes that degrade cartilage on joint surfaces. They are often used to treat osteoporosis.

They are called bisphosphonates because they have two phosphonate (PO3) groups.


In horses, Tildren is used to treat navicular syndrome, hock disease (spavin) and kissing spine syndrome. Some veterinarians see the drug as a new avenue to manage diseases that are characterized by circumstances in which the bone breakdown process exceeds the bone rebuilding process. If bone loss can be limited during the inflammatory and degenerative processes, it is thought that a positive effect on bone structure and reduction of pain are possible.

In a horse with navicular or other chronic bone conditions, such as ringbone, for example, or osteoarthritis of the hock, Tildren acts to inhibit bone deconstruction by shutting down what are known as osteoclasts. Osteoclasts are like hungry termites that digest bone, and Tildren impedes this process.

By reducing bone breakdown and further degeneration, the drug reduces pain, which in many cases contributes to lameness.

Dosage and Administration

The medication for horses must be ordered by a veterinarian who fills out a form for approval by the FDA for its use. Ceva Sante Animale in France is the maker of the drug and it comes pre-packaged in 10 small vials of powder and 10 small vials of dilutant. Some veterinarians administer it intravenously as a slow-drip IV over a ten day period. Others mix all the vials and administer it as a slow-drip IV in one large dose.

Other veterinarians administer the drug through a catheter over a 45 minute peiod. For chronic or extensive conditions, a second treatment has been found to be beneficial.

Side Effects

Some horses appear to have transient colic signs. Premedicating them with another drug, plus administering the Tildren as a slow IV drip, seems to work well to avoid possible problems.


The drug is not approved by the FDA for use in horses, but is commonly used by veterinarians in treating bone breakdown and lameness.

In cases of horses that are involved in competitions, check with the appropriate governing body to determine if use of the drug is acceptable.


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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.