I Tested Mail-Order Enteric Omeprazole Pellets: *I Have Jumped on the BandWagon*
On another thread I offered to perform the testing on enteric-coated omeprazole pellets if anyone would send me a sample. A COTH'er (who shall remain anonymous, unless s/he choose to out him/herself) took me up on the offer and sent me ~100g of mixed omeprazole (blue) and probiotic (purple) enteric-coated pellets.
Overall Results: the omeprazole pellets passed with flying colors, the probiotic pellets failed dramatically.
Method: I tested the pellets two ways. Empirical (Quick-n-Dirty): Pellets were submerged in 0.1N HCl (pH 1.2) for 1 hour. Following the exposure to acid media, they were transferred to phosphate buffer (ph 6.8). Pellets disintegrated within ~30-40 minutes in buffer phase.
Specification: Pellets were tested according to USP Specification for Disintegration (Chapter 701 in the National Formulary). I modified the test for tablets slightly by using disks in the basket apparatus (to keep the pellets fully submerged in the simulated gastric/ intestinal fluid).
Observations: The probiotic pellets failed within 1 minute in the acid media in both test methods. I didn't clarify this with the person who sent me the sample, but they failed so badly it makes me think they are not enterically-coated at all, but rather an immediate-release coating. I have no data on whether enteric-coated probiotics are more effective than immediate release probiotics, so perhaps the failing results don't matte.r
The omeprazole pellets passed easily. And in fact, in the buffer phase they took ~30+ minutes to fully disintegrate.
So what? On the recent Ulcergard patent thread, I wrote an explanation of why the paste dosing method has advantages for an unwilling patient like the horse. But from what I saw in my lab yesterday, if my horse needed omeprazole, I would feel comfortable buying enteric-coated omeprazole pellets (from this manufacturer ) and dumping them on her food immediately before serving it to her. Because the pellets took ~30 min to disintegrate in the buffer phase, they would probably stay intact in her food (which I happen to wet) for the few minutes it takes her to eat and then make it safely to her stomach. there may still be some pellet loss along the way from mastication, but if say an 80% yield of the mail-order pellets is still more cost-effective than the branded paste, then it's probably worth it.
Note on Probiotics: Working with probiotics is tough as they are very sensitive to heat and moisture. I've been working on a probiotic enteric-coating process for 2+ years as the standard process (temps 35-37C) kills off 80% of the probiotics that you start with. Recently I've gotten results with only 25% loss, so I'm in the ballbpark now...
But basically, after learning what I learned, I stopped buying probiotics off the shelf for my horse (she has had a long history of diarrhea and I tried every probiotic under the sun with varied and usually unimpressive results). I was making an educated guess that I was essentially buying expensive jars of inert ingredients and they were doing nothing for my horse, as chances are at some point during manufacturiing, shipping, and/or storage the containers had been exposed to heat and therefore had killed off the probiotics The supplement manufacturers (especially animal supplements) are so varied in their product quality control that I have no faith.
Hope you all find this interesting, I certainly did!
I am in the middle of ulcer hell among other issues and needed some reasonable alternatives and it this point FDA approvals are the furthest concern I have if we have reasonably good scientific judgement which suggests we can try the pellets:
Does anyone have experience feeding the pellets? Will picky eaters eat them?
Do we have any empirical evidence that the pellets are effective?
I use the granuals on my guy and put them in his pellets with either a little bit of aloe Vera juice or with a small amount of molasses. So far so good. It's been 2 months now and he's a completely different pony.
I used the omeprazole tablets on a horse who later showed many healed ulcer sites on necroposy, so I know they worked.
Did you test the enteric coated granules or tablets though? I'm not sure which you mean by "pellets" but I think that's the granules, right?
I tested what you would call granules from Omeprazole Direct (in my world, granules are much smaller, less spherical, less uniform, and produced by an entirely different manufacturing process ).
Did you grind the tablets or feed them whole? If you did grind them, there are products out there that are basically enteric-coated pellets compressed into tablets, and perhaps you just reverted them to their pellet state.