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To examine the pharmacokinetics and ex vivo pharmacodynamics of oral firocoxib administration in New Zealand White rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).


6 healthy New Zealand White rabbits.


Pharmacokinetics were determined from plasma concentrations measured via ultra performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry after oral administration of firocoxib at a dose of 3.74 to 4.20 mg/kg. Pharmacokinetic analysis was performed using non compartmental methods. Pharmacodynamics of firocoxib were evaluated by measuring plasma concentrations of thromboxane and prostaglandin via ELISAs as surrogate markers of cyclooxygenase enzyme isoform inhibition.


The terminal rate constant was 0.07 hours (range, 0.05 to 0.11 h). The mean maximum concentration (Cmax) and time to Cmax were 0.16 µg/mL and 3.81 hours (range, 2.0 to 8.0 h), respectively. Mean residence time was 15.02 hours. Mean elimination half-life was 9.12 hours. For the pharmacodynamic analysis, firocoxib administration did not demonstrate a significant difference between any time point for prostaglandin E2 and only a significant difference between 24 and 48 hours for thromboxane B2.


Although the pharmacokinetic research supports that plasma firocoxib concentrations that would be therapeutic in dogs are achieved in rabbits, the pharmacodynamic results do not demonstrate a significant difference in levels of cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition, which indirectly reflects the anti-inflammatory effects of the drug. Further pharmacodynamic studies and multidose studies are warranted to determine the efficacy and safety of this drug in rabbits.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research