The effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on the equine intestine




Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used in the management of pain and endotoxaemia associated with colic in the horse. While NSAIDs effectively treat the symptoms of colic, there is evidence to suggest that their administration is associated with adverse gastrointestinal effects including right dorsal colitis and inhibition of mucosal barrier healing. Several studies have examined the pathophysiology of NSAID associated effects on the large and small intestine in an effort to avoid these complications and identify effective alternative medications. Differences in the response of the large and small intestines to injury and NSAID treatment have been identified. Flunixin meglumine has been shown in the small intestine to inhibit barrier function recovery and increase permeability to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). A range of NSAIDs has been examined in the small intestine and experimental evidence suggests that those NSAIDs with cyclooxygenase independent anti-inflammatory effects or a COX-2 selective mode of action may offer significant advantages over traditional NSAIDs.