Unregulated drugs can inflame ulcers, study shows

Unregulated drugs can inflame ulcers, study shows

May 01, 2003
By dvm360.com staff
Duluth, Ga.-Compounded omeprazole is not effective in treating equine gastric ulcers, according to a study conducted by the University of California, Davis.

The study compared the effects of compounded omeprazole purchased from a private U.S. pharmacy to Gastrogard®, an FDA-registered formulation of the drug manufactured by Merial Ltd. Results of the study were published late last year in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

"The compounded omeprazole we evaluated was not equivalent to the FDA-approved formulation," says lead investigator Jack Snyder, DVM, Ph.D., chief of equine lameness and surgery at UC Davis. "It did not effectively lower gastric ulcers scores or resolve gastric lesions.

"The bottom line is that veterinarians, trainers and horse owners need to be very careful when buying any product that is not regulated, because they might not be getting what they asked for," adds Snyder.

The study used 32 thoroughbred horses that were examined with an endoscope and identified as having significant gastric ulceration.

Endoscopic examinations after 30 days and 60 days of treatment showed that compounded omeprazole neither significantly decreased ulcer severity scores nor aided in preventing the recurrence of ulcers, while Gastrogard was shown to be highly effective, according to researchers.

Of the horses treated first with Gastrogard for 30 days, endoscopic exams showed that all 16 horses had drastically reduced ulcer severity scores, Snyder reports. When those horses were treated with compounded product for the next 30 days, the ulcers returned.

Conversely, of the horses treated first with compounded omeprazole, endoscopic exams after 30 days of treatment showed the compounded product did not significantly reduce ulcer severity scores. When those horses were treated with Gastrogard for the remaining 30 days, all 16 horses had significantly reduced ulcer scores, researchers note.