Duration of pituitary and adrenocortical suppression after long-term administration of anti-inflammatory doses of prednisone in dogs

G. E. Moore From the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology and Small Animal Medicine College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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 DVM, MS
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M. Hoenig From the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology and Small Animal Medicine College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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 Dr med vet, PhD

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Summary

Duration and magnitude of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression caused by daily oral administration of a glucocorticoid was investigated, using an anti-inflammatory dose of prednisone. Twelve healthy adult male dogs were given prednisone orally for 35 days (0.55 mg/kg of body weight, q 12 h), and a control group of 6 dogs was given gelatin capsule vehicle. Plasma cortisol (baseline and 2-hour post-acth administration) and plasma acth and cortisol (baseline and 30-minutes post corticotropin-releasing hormone [crh] administration) concentrations were monitored biweekly during and after the 35-day treatment period.

Baseline plasma acth and cortisol and post-acth plasma cortisol concentrations were significantly (P < 0.05) reduced in treated vs control dogs after 14 days of oral prednisone administration. By day 28, baseline acth and cortisol concentrations remained significantly (P < 0.05) reduced and reserve function was markedly (P < 0.0001) reduced as evidenced by mean post-crh acth, post-crh cortisol, and post-acth cortisol concentrations in treated vs control dogs. Two weeks after termination of daily prednisone administration, significant difference between group means was not evident in baseline acth or cortisol values, post-crh acth or cortisol values, or post-acth cortisol values, compared with values in controls. Results indicate complete hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis recovery 2 weeks after oral administration of an anti-inflammatory regimen of prednisone given daily for 5 weeks.

Summary

Duration and magnitude of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression caused by daily oral administration of a glucocorticoid was investigated, using an anti-inflammatory dose of prednisone. Twelve healthy adult male dogs were given prednisone orally for 35 days (0.55 mg/kg of body weight, q 12 h), and a control group of 6 dogs was given gelatin capsule vehicle. Plasma cortisol (baseline and 2-hour post-acth administration) and plasma acth and cortisol (baseline and 30-minutes post corticotropin-releasing hormone [crh] administration) concentrations were monitored biweekly during and after the 35-day treatment period.

Baseline plasma acth and cortisol and post-acth plasma cortisol concentrations were significantly (P < 0.05) reduced in treated vs control dogs after 14 days of oral prednisone administration. By day 28, baseline acth and cortisol concentrations remained significantly (P < 0.05) reduced and reserve function was markedly (P < 0.0001) reduced as evidenced by mean post-crh acth, post-crh cortisol, and post-acth cortisol concentrations in treated vs control dogs. Two weeks after termination of daily prednisone administration, significant difference between group means was not evident in baseline acth or cortisol values, post-crh acth or cortisol values, or post-acth cortisol values, compared with values in controls. Results indicate complete hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis recovery 2 weeks after oral administration of an anti-inflammatory regimen of prednisone given daily for 5 weeks.

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