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A pilot study comparing the effect of orally administered esomeprazole and omeprazole on gastric fluid pH in horses

Huxford, KE, Dart, AJ, Perkins, NR, Bell, R, Jeffcott, LB
New Zealand veterinary journal 2017 v.65 no.6 pp. 318-321
Standardbred, adults, gastric juice, horses, oral administration, pH, placebos, stomach ulcers
AIMS To compare the efficacy of an enteric coated esomeprazole paste with an enteric coated omeprazole paste to increase gastric pH after oral administration in horses. METHODS Nine adult Standardbred horses were randomly assigned to three groups, each containing three horses, for a study comprising three phases of 10 days, with an 18-day washout period between each phase. In each phase, three horses received either 0.5 mg/kg esomeprazole, 1 mg/kg omeprazole or a placebo, as an oral paste, once daily for 10 days (Days 0–9). Over the course of study all horses received all three treatments. Gastric fluid samples were collected using a gastroscope on Days 1, 3, 5, 8 and 10, with food and water withheld for 16 hours prior to collection of samples. The pH of all samples was measured immediately after collection. RESULTS Mean pH (3.38; SD 1.75) of the gastric fluid samples in the horses that received the placebo was lower than in the horses that received esomeprazole (6.28; SD 1.75) or omeprazole (6.13; SD 1.75) (p<0.001). There was no difference in the mean pH between horses receiving esomeprazole and those receiving omeprazole (p=0.56). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Under these study conditions, esomeprazole paste was equally as effective as omeprazole paste in increasing gastric pH in horses. Enteric coated esomeprazole, may be a therapeutic alternative to omeprazole for the prevention of gastric ulcers in horses.