• Open Access

Effects of Intravenously Administered Esomeprazole Sodium on Gastric Juice pH in Adult Female Horses


Corresponding author: Dr Frank M. Andrews, Equine Health Studies Program, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803; e-mail: fandrews@lsu.edu.


Background: Gastric ulcers are common in horses and treatment of horses that cannot be administered oral medication can be problematic.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of esomeprazole sodium administered intravenously on gastric juice pH and gastric ulcer scores in horses.

Animals: Twelve adult female Quarter Horses.

Methods: Esomeprazole sodium (0.5 mg/kg IV) was administered once daily to 8 horses (treatment group) and saline (5 mL IV) was administered to 4 horses (control group) for 13 consecutive days. Gastroscopy was performed and gastric juice pH and gastric ulcer score were recorded before and 1 hour after the administration of esomeprazole sodium or saline on days 1 and 5, then on day 14, 23 hours after the 13th daily dose of esomeprazole sodium or saline.

Results: When compared with values before treatment, gastric juice pH was higher in esomeprazole sodium-treated horses after treatment (4.25 ± 2.39 versus 6.43 ± 1.18; P= .002). Also, gastric juice pH was higher (P= .001) in esomeprazole sodium-treated horses compared with saline-treated control horses on day 5 and on day 14 values. Gastric ulcers were seen in 5/12 (43%) horses in the study.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Esomeprazole sodium shows promise for treatment of gastric ulcers in horses with signs of dysphagia, gastric reflux, or other conditions that restrict oral intake of the current Federal Drug Administration-approved omeprazole paste.