Brand: EQUITAK ® EXCEL
Company: ELANCO (BAYER)
CHEMICAL CLASS of the active ingredient(s):
PARASITES CONTROLLED* (spectrum of activity)
* Country-specific differences may apply: read the product label.
- Tapeworms (Anoplocephala spp)
- Large Strongyles
- Small strongyles
- Pinworms (Oxyuris equi)
- Ascarids (Parascaris equorum)
- Hairworms (Trichostrongylus axei)
- Large mouthed stomach worms (Habronema muscae)
- Bots (Gasterophilus spp.)
- Lungworms (Dictyocaulus arnfieldi)
- intestinal threadworms (Strongyloides westeri)
*Can be slightly different in some countries: read the product label!
- 1 g product per 20 kg bodyweight, equivalent to 200 mcg abamectin/kg bw, 10 mg oxfendazole/kg bw oxfendazole and 2.5 mg/kg praziquantel/kg bw
- Each 30 g syringe will treat a 600 kg horse.
- LD50 (acute oral) in rats: ~2500 mg/kg (estimate calculated according to the WHO based on the abamectin LD50)
- Estimated hazard class according to the WHO: not applicable for veterinary medicines
Withholding periods (=withdrawal times) for meat & milk (country-specific differences may apply: read the product label)
- MEAT & OFFAL: AUS: DO NOT USE less than 28 days before slaughter for human consumption
- MILK: Do not use in animals producing milk for human consumption
WARNING !!!: Never use on humans, dogs or cats
You may be interested in the following articles in this site dealing with the general safety of veterinary products:
- Safety for humans
- Safety for domestic animals
- Safety for the environment
- Hazard classifications of pesticides
Risk of resistance? YES
- Small strongyles (cyathostomes). Tolerance of small strongyles to macrocyclic lactones (e.g. abamectin, ivermectin, moxidectin), manifested as a low but significant worm egg output after treatment (determined after fecal egg counts) is not yet widespread, but has been already reported (e.g. in the UK, Germany, Italy, the USA, and Brazil). In Australia tolerance (expressed as faster recommencing of egg shedding) has been observed. Resistance of small strongyles to benzimidazoles is widespread and frequent e.g. in Australia, USA, UK and Europe, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, etc.
- Parascaris equorum: Resistance to macrocyclic lactones (e.g. ivermectin, moxidectin) has been reported (e.g. in the USA, UK and Australia). Cases of resistance to benzimidazoles have been reported (e.g. in Australia and the USA).
This means that if this product does not achieve the expected efficacy against the mentioned parasites, it may be due to resistance and not to incorrect use, which is usually the most frequent cause of product failure.
- Imidazothiazoles, mainly levamisole. Not approved for use in horses in many countries.
- Tetrahydropyrimidines, mainly pyrantel (limited spectrum of activity), but resistance cases have also been reported (e.g. Australia, USA, Brazil, Japan)
These alternative products may not be available in all countries, or may not be available as oral pastes or gels.
Are the active ingredients of this product ORIGINAL* or GENERICS**?
*Meaning that they are still patent protected and generics are not yet available
**Meaning that they have lost patent protection and may be acquired from manufacturers of generic active ingredients other than the holder of the original patent.
COUNTRIES where this product is marketed: Australia, New Zealand
GENERIC BRANDS available? YES, perhaps not in this particular composition
Click here to learn more about GENERIC vs. ORIGINAL drugs.
Abamectin, a veteran endectocide introduced in the 1980s (by MSD AgVet → MERIAL), is considered as the "cheap" macrocyclic lactone. It is less potent and more toxic than ivermectin and other macrocyclic lactones but is often "good enough", with a similar spectrum of activity as ivermectin. As other macrocyclic lactones, abamectin has no efficacy whatsoever against tapeworms and flukes. Interestingly abamectin is widely used on livestock and horses in Australia and New Zealand but so far not in the EU (excepting preciselyy this formulation), the USA and Canada. It is used in agricultural pesticides.
Oxfendazole is a veteran benzimidazole introduced in the 1970s (by WELLCOME, SYNTEX) that is moderately used in livestock and horses, rather scarcely in pets. It is a broad-spectrum anthelmintic effective against roundworms in the gut, but not against those in the skin. It is also ineffective against gastric bots (Gasterophilus spp) or whatever external parasites. It is not used in agriculture.
Praziquantel is a veteran anthelmintic introduced in the 1970s (by BAYER). It is highly effective against tapeworms (in horses mainly Anoplocephala spp) but has no efficacy whatsoever against roundworms. It is the anthelmintic most vastly used against tapeworms in horses and pets, used in hundreds of brands. It is hardly used in livestock. It is not used in agriculture.
Most macrocyclic lactones have about two weeks residual effect on horses because they are stored in body fat and progressively released. This, together with the time that worms need to develop inside the horse after infection (pre-patent period) allows to space the treatment intervals to 10 to 12 weeks in year-round control programs in many regions. For other active ingredients that have no residual effect such as fenbendazole, mebendazole, or pyrantel the treatment interval is usually 4 to 6 weeks.
Whereas in ruminants abamectin administered at 200 mcg/kg controls a series of external parasites as well (mites, lice, etc.), such an indication is not approved in most countries in horses: external parasites have to be controlled with ectoparasiticides (e.g. pour-ons, sprays, etc.).
The logic oc combining two nematicides (i.e. roundworm killers) such as oxfendazole and abamectin is related to resistance management. Since both compounds have different mechanisms of action, it is assumed that resistance development will be prevented or at least delayed because the risk of simultaneous development of worm resistance to two different mechanisms of action is much smaller than to only one. However, this is only true if the concerned worms are still susceptible to both compounds. Otherwise, if the worms are already resistant to one of them, only one will work. It will initially do the job, but the risk of development of multiple resistance to both compounds is considerable. In addition, this combination may delay resistance development by Parascaris equorum but not by small strongyles, becasue piperazine is not effective against these worms at the recommended dose.
In addition, since oxfendazole has no residual effect, a few days after administration only abamectin will be active, meaning that the resistance-delaying effect of the combination gets lost: selection of abamectin-resistant worms will continue undisturbed.
Many horse owners complain about the price of the oral pastes & gels for horses (with ivermectin or other macrocyclic lactones), compared with the much cheaper injectables for livestock with the same active ingredients, used at the same dose (200 mcg/kg). This is why off-label use of livestock ivermectin injectables in horses is very common worldwide, particularly in working horses of cattle and sheep ranches. The reason why injectables are mostly not approved for use on horses is apparently that, shortly after introduction, it was noticed that horses were more prone to develop severe clostridial infections at the injection site (due to contamination of the needles) and other undesired side effects than cattle or sheep. In addition, the pharmacokinetic behavior of ivermectin on horses is different than in ruminants. For these reasons oral pastes were developed for horses that do not show such side effects. However, in numerous countries (e.g. in Latin America) some ivermectin injectables for livestock are also approved for use on horses.
For an overview and a list of the most used oral paste & gel brands click here.
This article IS NOT A PRODUCT LABEL. It offers complementary information that may be useful to veterinary professionals and users that are not familiar with veterinary antiparasitics.
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