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Pharmacokinetics of meloxicam administered orally to rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) for 29 days

Katie W. Delk DVM1, James W. Carpenter MS, DVM2, Butch KuKanich DVM, PhD3, Jerome C. Nietfeld DVM, PhD4, and Micah Kohles DVM, MPA5
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 3 Department of Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 4 Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 5 Oxbow Animal Health, 29012 Mill Rd, Murdock, NE 68407

Abstract

Objective—To determine the pharmacokinetics and safety of meloxicam in rabbits when administered orally for 29 days.

Animals—6 healthy rabbits.

Procedures—Meloxicam (1.0 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h) was administered to rabbits for 29 days. Blood was collected immediately before (time 0) and 2, 4, 6, 8, and 24 hours after drug administration on days 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of meloxicam. On day 30, an additional sample was collected 36 hours after treatment. Plasma meloxicam concentrations were quantified with liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, and noncompartmental pharmacokinetic analysis was performed. Weekly plasma biochemical analyses were performed to evaluate any adverse physiologic effects. Rabbits were euthanatized for necropsy on day 31.

Results—Mean ± SD peak plasma concentrations of meloxicam after administration of doses 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 were 0.67 ± 0.19 μg/mL, 0.81 ± 0.21 μg/mL, 1.00 ± 0.31 μg/mL, 1.00 ± 0.29 μg/mL, and 1.07 ± 0.19 μg/mL, respectively; these concentrations did not differ significantly among doses 8 through 29. Results of plasma biochemical analyses were within reference ranges at all time points evaluated. Gross necropsy and histologic examination of tissues revealed no clinically relevant findings.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Plasma concentrations of meloxicam for rabbits in the present study were similar to those previously reported in rabbits that received 1. 0 mg of meloxicam/kg, PO every 24 hours, for 5 days. Results suggested that a dosage of 1. 0 mg/kg, PO, every 24 hours for up to 29 days may be safe for use in healthy rabbits.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Delk's present address is Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Supported by Oxbow Animal Health.

Presented in abstract form at the 35th Annual Association of Avian Veterinarians Conference, Jacksonville, Fla, August 2013, and at the 12th Annual Conference of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, Indianapolis, Ind, September 2013.

The authors thank Christine Hackworth, Robert Martinez, Drew Pearson, Nolan McClain, Amy Guernsey, and Caitlin Kozel for assistance with sample collection and analysis.

Address correspondence to Dr. Delk (katie.delk@gmail.com).