In vivo and in vitro evaluation of the effects of domperidone on the gastrointestinal tract of healthy horses

Jorge E. Nieto, Omar Maher, Scott D. Stanley, Richard Larson, Jack R. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective-To determine the effects of domperidone on in vivo and in vitro measures of gastrointestinal tract motility and contractility in healthy horses. Sample-18 adult horses and tissue samples from an additional 26 adult horses. Procedures-Domperidone or placebo paste was administered to healthy horses in a 2-period crossover study. Gastric emptying was evaluated after oral administration of domperidone paste (1.1 or 5.0 mg/kg) or placebo paste by means of the acetaminophen absorption test in 12 horses. Frequency of defecation, weight of feces produced, fecal moisture, and stomach-toanus transit time of microspheres were evaluated after administration of domperidone paste (1.1 mg/kg) or placebo paste in 6 horses. The effect of domperidone on smooth muscle contractile activity in samples of duodenum, jejunum, ileum, or colon obtained from 26 horses immediately after euthanasia (for nonsystemic medical problems) was investigated. Results-Oral administration of 5.0 mg of domperidone/kg increased peak plasma acetaminophen concentration and area under the curve, indicating increased gastric emptying. Administration of 1.1 mg of domperidone/kg had no effect on gastric emptying, transit time, defecation frequency, or amount and moisture of excreted feces. Contractile activities of circular and longitudinal muscle strips from the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, or colon were not altered by domperidone. Dopamine increased contractile activity of longitudinal muscle strips but not that of circular muscle strips from the midjejunum. Domperidone decreased the dopamineinduced contractile activity of midjejunal longitudinal muscle strips. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-The potential beneficial effects of domperidone in horses with ileus need to be evaluated in horses with decreased gastric emptying or adynamic ileus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1110
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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