To quantify plasma concentrations of prednisolone and dexamethasone (peripheral and jugular) and cortisol following topical ophthalmic application of 1% prednisolone acetate and 0.1% dexamethasone to healthy adult dogs.
12 purpose-bred Beagles.
Dogs received 1 drop of 1% prednisolone acetate (n = 6) or neomycin polymyxin B dexamethasone (ie, 0.1% dexamethasone; 6) ophthalmic suspension in both eyes every 6 hours for 14 days. Blood samples (peripheral and jugular) were collected on days 0, 1, 7, and 14 and analyzed for plasma prednisolone and dexamethasone concentrations. Plasma cortisol concentrations were measured at the beginning of the study and following topical drug administration.
Both drugs demonstrated systemic absorption. Prednisolone was detected on days 1, 7, and 14 (median plasma concentration, 24.80 ng/mL; range, 6.20 to 74.00 ng/mL), and dexamethasone was detected on days 1, 7, and 14 (2.30 ng/mL; 0 to 17.70 ng/mL). Neither prednisolone nor dexamethasone were detected in plasma samples on day 0 (baseline). Sampling from the jugular vein resulted in higher plasma drug concentrations than from a peripheral vein when samples from each day were combined. Plasma cortisol concentrations were significantly lower than baseline following 14 days of treatment with topical prednisolone acetate and dexamethasone.
Prednisolone and dexamethasone are detected in the plasma of healthy dogs following topical ophthalmic administration 4 times/d with prednisolone concentrations being close to a physiologic dose of orally administered prednisolone. Additional research is needed to evaluate the systemic absorption of these medications in dogs with ocular inflammation.