Member Notice: Compounded Drugs – Use with Caution

In order to avoid positive tests, the Equine Canada Equine Medication Control Committee (EMCC) would like to remind all competitors, owners, grooms, trainers, etc. that compounded medications should be used with caution and only under the proper guidance and prescription of your veterinarian. The EMCC currently is reviewing a number of positive tests, which may be related to the administration of compounded drugs, although no disciplinary rulings have been determined at this time.

Compounded drugs are products that are specially formulated by a pharmacy or veterinarian because they are not available as a licensed product, they may contain different concentrations or composition compared to a licensed product, or they may be less expensive. Their use must take into account the concentration of the active ingredient, route of administration, safety and the possibility of contamination.

When Health Canada approves a veterinary drug, the product must meet standards of efficacy, safety, composition and stability. The expiry date on an approved drug product is determined by the stability data. The same level of control for compounded drugs does not exist. There have been instances where compounded drugs have had greater concentrations of the active ingredient than what was stated on the label or have had additional ingredients not stated on the label. In some cases, this has led to serious health consequences in treated horses (

Even if higher than labeled concentrations do not have adverse health effects, they could cause your horse to have a positive test result by exceeding the allowed limit for a permitted medication or prolonging the detection time of a prohibited substance beyond the guidelines. Positive test results in such cases remain the responsibility of the Person Responsible for the horse or pony.

The following link includes an article by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency.

If there is any doubt about a medication or product, do not use it. If you use a compounded product you do so at your own risk. If you have any questions on the ingredients or clearance times of any product consult your veterinarian or EC,

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