Gastrointestinal pharmacology

Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 1999 Dec;15(3):535-59, vii. doi: 10.1016/s0749-0739(17)30131-1.


Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract that require pharmacologic management, usually in combination with other treatments, are gastric ulcers (omeprazole and others), colic (laxatives, analgesics), diarrhea (antibiotics, protectants and absorbents, glucocorticoids, motility inhibitors), reperfusion injury, postoperative ileus (prokinetic drugs), and adhesions. There is growing evidence that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can alter important physiologic properties of the intestine; however, these drugs are valuable analgesics for horses and their use should be tempered with an awareness of their harmful effects. The role of antibiotics in treating gastrointestinal disease is controversial, but their ability to induce life-threatening diarrhea is well known and invites caution and defensible use of these drugs in horses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cathartics / therapeutic use
  • Cholinergic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / veterinary*
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Horse Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Horses


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Cathartics
  • Cholinergic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists