NSAIDs and Ulcer Medications Together? Think Again

Most horse people are aware that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs (phenylbutazone, flunixin, firocoxib, etc) compromise gastrointestinal (GI) health in the horse. This comes about through inhibiting several natural defence mechanisms of the GI tract, which help to protect and maintain the integrity of the lining of the GI tract. Whilst many think that the use of NSAIDs can contribute to ulcers or bleeding in the GI tract, this is just the tip of the iceberg…

To ‘prevent’ this problem, many co-administer NSAIDs with ulcer medications (primarily those that contain omeprazole). Omeprazole belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

Scientific evidence has clearly demonstrated that the combined use of NSAIDs and PPIs increases the injurious effects of NSAIDs on the intestinal mucosa. Put simply, combining NSAIDs and ulcer products is likely to result in doing more harm to your horse than the use of NSAIDs alone.

If the use of NSAIDs are necessitated, then dietary, management and complementary treatment strategies should be put in place in order to promote GI and overall health in your horse.

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