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Pharmacokinetics of buprenorphine after intravenous and oral transmucosal administration in guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus)

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  • 1 William T. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 K. L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 4 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 5 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine pharmacokinetics and sedative effects of buprenorphine after IV and oral transmucosal (OTM) administration in guinea pigs.

ANIMALS 14 male guinea pigs (6 adults for preliminary experiment; eight 8 to 11-week-old animals for primary study).

PROCEDURES A preliminary experiment was conducted to determine an appropriate buprenorphine dose. In the primary study, buprenorphine (0.2 mg/kg) was administered IV or OTM, and blood samples were obtained. The pH of the oral cavity was measured before OTM administration. Sedation was scored for 6 hours on a scale of 0 to 3 (0 = no sedation and 3 = heavy sedation). After a 7-day washout period, procedures were repeated in a crossover manner. Plasma buprenorphine concentration was quantified, and data were analyzed with a noncompartmental pharmacokinetic approach.

RESULTS Mean peak plasma buprenorphine concentrations were 46.7 and 2.4 ng/mL after IV and OTM administration, respectively. Mean time to maximum plasma buprenorphine concentration was 1.5 and 71.2 minutes, and mean terminal half-life was 184.9 and 173.0 minutes for IV and OTM administration, respectively. There was a range of sedation effects (0 to 2) for both routes of administration, which resolved within the 6-hour time frame.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE On the basis of pharmacokinetic parameters for this study, buprenorphine at 0.2 mg/kg may be administered IV every 7 hours or OTM every 4 hours to maintain a target plasma concentration of 1 ng/mL. Further studies are needed to evaluate administration of multiple doses and sedative effects in guinea pigs with signs of pain.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Sadar's present address is the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

Address correspondence to Dr. Paul-Murphy (paulmurphy@ucdavis.edu).