N-Butylscopolammonium Bromide 40 mg/mL, Injectable Solution, 50mL
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“Colic” generally references pain in the abdomen. Gas colic—sometimes referred to as “spasmodic colic”—is mild to moderate abdominal pain in horses that can resolve on its own or with a single treatment, as opposed to being a symptom of a more serious ailment. Gas buildup within a horse’s digestive tract is thought to be one of the most common causes of colic.1
Colic can occur at any time of year, frequently arises in the spring, when a horse ingests forage that is high in sugar, such as spring grass. This can lead to excessive fermentation occurring in the gut, with a resulting buildup of gas. Since horses can’t burp, they typically expel gas in the other direction.1 Given the length of the equine intestinal tract however, some gas pockets are not able to escape, resulting in painful distension of the intestinal wall, and colic.2 Although the underlying reason for most gas colic is often never isolated, risk factors for colic include changes in diet and feeding, stabling and activity and health and wellness care.
Symptoms of gas colic may include:
Kicking or nipping at its flanks
Not eating or drinking
Not passing manure
Elevated heart and respiratory rates2
While gas colic is common in horses, a veterinarian should be consulted right away if a horse shows any of these signs, as complications from gas distention can arise if the bowel becomes displaced or twists upon itself.1
N-Butylscopolammonium Bromide for Gas Colic in Horses
N-Butylscopolammonium bromide (NBB) is a quaternary ammonium compound that has been approved in the United States for the treatment of minor gas colic in horses. A short-acting antispasmodic with no sedative properties, it is also used by some veterinarians to treat esophageal obstruction due to its ability to relax the smooth muscle of the esophagus.
N-butylscopolammonium bromide reduces gastrointestinal peristalsis and rectal pressure via its anticholinergic actions by competitively inhibiting muscarinic receptors on smooth muscle. It has some bronchodilatory and chronotropic effects in horses. Bronchodilatory effects are observed within 10 minutes of IV administration, and dissipate within 1 hour. NBB has shorter duration of action than atropine, and appears to have brief (15 to 20 minutes) visceral colorectal distention antinociceptive effects in horses.3
N-butylscopolammonium bromide is contraindicated in horses with impaction colic associated with ileus or those with glaucoma.1,3 Because N-butylscopolammonium bromide can increase heart rate, it should be used with caution in horses with systemic cardiovascular compromise. Adverse effects include transient tachycardia and hypertension, and a period of ≈20 to 30 minutes of decreased borborygmal sounds after IV dosing. Transient pupil dilation can be noted. Other effects include decreased secretions and dry mucous membranes. Because N-butylscopolammonium bromide can cause increases in heart rate, heart rate should not be used as a valid pain indicator for 30 minutes after injection.3
Where to buy N-Butylscopolammonium Bromide
N-Butylscopolammonium bromide is available in the U.S. through several pharmaceutical manufacturers and through veterinary custom compounding companies. N-BUTYLSCOPOLAMMONIUM BROMIDE injectable solution by NexGen Pharmaceuticals is indicated for the treatment of minor gas colic in horses.
This product carries several potential drug interactions. Please consult your veterinarian prior to beginning any treatment regimen.
FOR RX ONLY: A valid prescription from a licensed veterinarian is required for dispensing this medication.
3Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs.