OBJECTIVE To determine the pharmacokinetics of voriconazole administered PO with or without food to red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensus) and whether any observed variability could be explained by measured covariates to inform dose adjustments.
ANIMALS 7 adult red-tailed hawks.
PROCEDURES In a crossover study design, hawks were randomly assigned to first receive voriconazole (15 mg/kg, PO) injected into a dead mouse (n = 3; fed birds) or without food (4; unfed birds). Sixteen days later, treatments were reversed. Blood samples were collected at various points to measure plasma voriconazole concentrations by ultraperformance liquid chromatography. Pharmacokinetic data were analyzed by noncompartmental methods and fit to a compartmental model through nonlinear mixed-effects regression, with feeding status and body weight investigated as covariates.
RESULTS Voriconazole was well absorbed, with quantifiable plasma concentrations up to 24 hours after administration. Mean plasma half-life was approximately 2 hours in fed and unfed birds. Administration of the voriconazole in food delayed absorption, resulting in a significant delay in time to maximum plasma concentration. The final compartmental model included a categorical covariate to account for this lag in absorption as well as body weight as a covariate of total body clearance (relative to unknown bioavailability).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE A single dose of voriconazole (15 mg/kg) administered PO to red-tailed hawks resulted in mean plasma voriconazole concentrations greater than the targeted value (1 μg/mL). Additional studies with larger sample sizes and multidose regimens are required before the model developed here can be applied in clinical settings.