Fakultäten » Vetsuisse-Fakultät » Departement für Pferde » Pferdemedizin, Klinik für » Prof. Dr. Colin Schwarzwald » Birkmann

Completed research project

Title / Titel Comparison of the efficacy of omeprazole as a powder paste and as an enteric coated formulation in healing of gastric ulcers in horses
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung The prevalence of gastric ulcers or equine gastric ulcer syndrome in performance horses is very high and may have effects on condition and performance. Furthermore, the appearance of gastric lesions is also a common finding in horses and foals with systemic illness. Gastric ulcer treatment is based on drugs that suppress gastric acid secretion. Omeprazole, a substituted benzimidazole, blocks the secretion of hydrogen ion by an irreversible binding to the H+/K+-ATPase enzyme system at the secretory surface of the gastric parietal cell. Omeprazole is a potent inhibitor of gastric acid secretion in horses, which allows only once daily dosing. As an acid labile, crystalline powder, omeprazole is degraded very fast in the antacid environment of the stomach. Therefore, in humans it is used in an enteric coated encapsulated form. This formulation protects the agent during the passage through the stomach until the alkaline environment of the small intestine degrades the acid stable coating and the active ingredients are released.
In horses, omeprazole is generally used as a powder paste formulation, Gastrogard®, which is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and which is commercially available in Europe and the US. The powder paste formulation administered at 4 mg/kg/day revealed good effects in healing of gastric ulcer lesions in horses. Although the administration is very practicable and the outcome is good, the relatively high cost of Gastrogard® and the limited availability in some countries, including Switzerland, constitutes a severe disadvantage.
A paste formulation containing enteric coated omeprazole, Gastrozole®, is available on the Australian market. It is often used in racing Thoroughbreds in Australia and its use has become popular in Europe, particularly in Switzerland, as well. According to the manufacturer, this formulation is administered at a dose of 1 mg/kg/day. At this dosage it is slightly less expensive compared to Gastrogard® at recommended doses. According to the manufacturer, the enteric coating of this formulation allows using lower dosages compared to the Gastrogard® formulation. However, definitive proof of the efficacy of Gastrogard at the labeled dose in horses is lacking to date.
Therefore, the aim of this study is to compare the efficacy of orally administered omeprazole as a powder paste formulation (Gastrogard®) at the labeled dose of 4 mg/kg bwt and as a paste formulation containing omeprazole in acid stable granules (Gastrozol®) at the labeled dose of 1 mg/kg bwt to promote healing of gastric ulcers in adult horses.
Publications / Publikationen Pending.

Birkmann, K; Junge, H; Wehrli Eser, M; Schwarzwald, C C; Maischberger, E (2014). Efficacy of omeprazole powder paste or enteric-coated formulation in healing of gastric ulcers in horses. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 28(3):925-933.

Keywords / Suchbegriffe Gastric ulcers in horses, Gastrogard, Gastrozol
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Dr. med. vet. Colin Schwarzwald, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM & ECEIM
Dr. Katharina Birkmann, Resident ECEIM (Project Leader)
Dr. Meret Wehrli Eser, Dip. ECEIM, FVH für Pferde
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
No project-specific funding
Funding requested.
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Mar 2011 to Mar 2013