We hear a lot about the coating of medications such as, enteric coated omeprazole for digestion treatments, and other medications often have whats called an enteric coating, but what is it and what does it do?
The wordy explanation is an enteric coating is a substance added to the medication to act as a barrier to control where in the digestive system the medication is released, protecting it from the acids of the stomach. It’s a protective coating to make sure the medication gets released where it’s supposed to be released.
The scientific Facts
The science of it is essentially that the coating works by having a surface that remains solid in the highly acidic pH stomach but break down when they enter a less acidic, higher pH, environment such as the small intestine. The measurement pH is how acidic or base substance is on a fourteen point scale, with water being 7.0 and neutral. The stomach is about pH 3, while the small intestine is above pH 5.5.
Since we want the omeprazole to be delivered to the bloodstream from the small intestine, it has an enteric coating to protect it from the high acidic content of the stomach. Ironically, omeprazole, being from the family of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) blocks the secretion of acid and helps reduce and neutralize the acid in your horse’s stomach, and we want to protect it from that acid in your horse’s stomach until it gets where it needs to go. The lessening of the acid levels in your horse’s stomach helps heal the existing ulcer damage.
The enteric coating also has the bonus of being tasteless. It hides the nasty bitter taste of the enteric coated omeprazole that horses are fairly likely to reject no matter what you try and mix the omeprazole with. AbPrazole is an equine gastric ulcer treatment of enteric coated granules of omeprazole. The granular form are easy to dose and the bright blue colouring help you see how much medicine has gotten into your horse making sure they can heal as quickly as possible.