Vets had been previously advised against using the drug owing to traces of testosterone
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that injectable omeprazole, manufactured by Bova UK, can now be used in racehorses ‘within rules’.
Veterinary professionals had previously been advised against possessing, using or administering the drug in racehorses after small traces of testosterone were discovered in a batch of the product last year.
Although independent experts said there could be no adverse effects on equine health or equestrian sport, BOVA took immediate action to identify and eliminate the ingredient that contained the testosterone.
In September 2019, the product was declared free of testosterone and has since continued to be used in Australian racehorses after guidance from Racing NSW. Tests on multiple samples of injectable omeprazole ahead of sale have also since demonstrated the product to be free of testosterone.
Dr Mike Hewetson from the Royal Veterinary College explained: “Long-acting injectable omeprazole has become an important treatment option for horses with gastric disease, particularly those affected by glandular gastric disease.”
A recent blind clinical trial of Bova’s injectable omeprazole found that healing rates for both glandular and squamous gastric disease were four times higher with injectable omeprazole than with a registered oral product.