The study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of omeprazole powder in sterile water, administered intravenously, on gastric juice pH in adult horses with naturally occurring gastric ulcers. Omeprazole (0.5 mg/kg, IV) was administered once daily for 5 days to 6 adult horses with gastric ulcers. Gastric juice was aspirated through the biopsy channel of an endoscope and pH was measured before and 1 hour after administration of omeprazole on day 1, and then before and after administration of omeprazole on day 5. Gastric ulcer scores were recorded on day 1 before administration of omeprazole and on day 5, 23 hours after the 4th daily dose. Gastric juice pH and ulcer scores were compared between the times. When compared with the pre-injection value (2.01 +/- 0.42), mean +/- SD gastric juice pH was significantly higher when measured 1 hour after administration of the initial dose (4.35 +/- 2.31), and before (5.27 +/- 1.74) and 1 hour after (7.00 +/- 0.25) administration of omeprazole on day 5. Nonglandular gastric ulcer number score significantly decreased from a mean +/- SD of 3.2 +/- 0.80 to 2.0 +/- 1.1, but nonglandular gastric ulcer severity score remained the same. Few glandular ulcers were seen in the study, and scores did not change. Because of its potent and long duration of action on gastric juice pH, this intravenous formulation of omeprazole may show promise for treatment of equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) in horses with dysphagia, gastric reflux, or other conditions that restrict oral intake of omeprazole paste. Aspiration of gastric juice and measurement of pH can be of use to determine whether the desired pH > 4.0 has been reached after omeprazole treatment.
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