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Objective—To determine the pharmacokinetics of meloxicam after IV and PO administration to 6 healthy sheep.

Animals—6 healthy adult Dorset cross sheep (5 males and 1 female).

Procedures—Meloxicam (0.5 mg/kg, IV, or 1.0 mg/kg, PO) was administered in a randomized crossover design with a 10-day washout period. Blood samples were collected at predetermined times over 96 hours. Serum drug concentrations were determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry. Computer software was used to estimate values of pharmacokinetic parameters through noncompartmental methods.

Results—Following IV administration (n = 5), the geometric mean (range) elimination half-life was 14.0 hours (10.5 to 17.0 hours), volume of distribution was 0.204 L/kg (0.171 to 0.272 L/kg), and clearance was 0.17 mL/min/kg (0.12 to 0.27 mL/min/kg). Following oral administration (n = 6), maximum serum concentration was 1.72 μg/mL (1.45 to 1.93 μg/mL), time to maximum serum concentration was 19.0 hours (12.0 to 24.0 hours), clearance per bioavailability was 0.22 mL/min/kg (0.16 to 0.30 mL/min/kg), and terminal half-life was 15.4 hours (13.2 to 17.7 hours). Bioavailability of orally administered meloxicam was calculated as 72% (40% to 125%; n = 5). No adverse effects were evident following meloxicam administration via either route.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Meloxicam administered PO at 1.0 mg/kg has good bioavailability with slow elimination kinetics in sheep. These data suggested that meloxicam may be clinically useful, provided the safety and analgesic efficacy of meloxicam as well as feed-related influences on its pharmacokinetics are established in ruminants.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association