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Equine Vet J Suppl. 2006 Aug;(36):668-71.

Effect of omeprazole on markers of performance in gastric ulcer-free standardbred horses.

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Equine Science Center, Department of Animal Sciences, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, USA.



A large percentage of performance horses develop gastric ulcers and many of those horses are treated with omeprazole. Unfortunately, no data have been published on the effects of the drug on markers of performance in animals without ulcers.


Omeprazole would alter markers of aerobic and anaerobic performance.


Ten unfit, healthy, ulcer free, Standardbred mares were administered either control (CON; oral apple sauce, 20 ml) or omeprazole (OP; oral paste, 4 mg/kg bwt s.i.d.) in a random crossover fashion with the investigators blind to the treatment. Treatments were administered for 7 days prior to performing an incremental exercise test (GXT) on a high-speed treadmill. Endoscopic examinations were performed just prior to the trial to verify that the mares were ulcer-free. During the GXT, the mares ran on a treadmill up a 6% grade to measure maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), run time (RT), velocity at VO2max, maximal velocity (Vmax), packed cell volume (PCV), plasma lactate concentration (LA) and plasma protein concentration (TP). Measurements were recorded at rest, at the end of each 1 min step of the GXT and at 2 and 5 min post GXT. Data were analysed using ANOVA for repeated measures and t tests for paired comparisons.


There was no effect (P>0.05) of omeprazole on VO2max; velocity at VO2max; RT; Vmax; 2 min recovery plasma LA. Nor were there any changes (P>0.05) in the relationship between treadmill speed and VO2, PCV, TP, or plasma LA.


Omeprazole does not appear to improve physiological markers of performance in healthy, ulcer free horses.


These data may benefit various authorities responsible for deciding administration and timing policies of omeprazole as well as clinicians and horse owners.

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