The Maryland Racing Commission has moved to adopt new modifications to the Controlled Therapeutic Substances List recently approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International recommended by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. Two new medications, albuterol and isoflupredone (Predef), have been added to the list of 24 drugs that are approved for therapeutic use in racing together and a new withdrawal time for flunixin(Banamine® has been established.
The withdrawal time for Albuterol, a bronchodilator that can be used as an alternative to the more strictly regulated clenbuterol, has been set at 72 hours prior to a race. Both Albuterol and clenbuterol clear airways, but whereas clenbuterol can be administered orally or intravenously, albuterol can only be administered in an aerosolized form, using a breathing mask. Clenbuterol’s withdrawal time is 14 days.
RMTC’s official recommendation states that the current withdrawal time of flunixin should be increased from 24 hours to 32 hours (based on a single IV dose of 1 milligram per kilogram). Flunixin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and is recommended for the alleviation of inflammation and pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders.
The corticosteroid isoflupredone was added because of its efficacy in treating high-suspensory injuries, a type of malady that could not be effectively treated with any other drug on the approved list.
The RMTC has been pushing to more tightly regulate the use of corticosteroids because of concerns over the ability of these drugs to mask problems if used close to a race and because chronic use of long-term damage in joints. The recommended withdrawal-time guideline on isoflupredone will be seven days.
Concluding after recent research that the current withdrawal time for flunixin (Banamine®) could leave horsemen vulnerable to positive tests, the RMTC recommended extending the time by an additional eight hours to 32 hours.
The new flunixin withdrawal is recommended to horsemen and veterinarians immediately. The addition of albuterol and isoflupredone to the Maryland Racing Medication Guidelines will become effective with the opening of the Laurel Park fall meet.