Pharmacokinetics of and serum thromboxane suppression by flunixin meglumine in healthy foals during the first month of life

Susan Diane Semrad From the Department of Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Semrad), and Analytical Toxicology Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Sams, Ashcraft).

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Richard Alvin Sams From the Department of Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Semrad), and Analytical Toxicology Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Sams, Ashcraft).

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Susan Marie Ashcraft From the Department of Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (Semrad), and Analytical Toxicology Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (Sams, Ashcraft).

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Summary

Age and species reportedly affect the pharmacokinetic variables of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. We determined the effect of age on flunixin pharmacokinetic variables in foals during the first month of life. We also estimated the physiologic activity of the drug in neonatal foals by determining the effect of flunixin on thromboxane production during clotting of blood taken from the foals. Flunixin disposition and clearance were determined after iv administration of 1.1 mg of drug/kg of body weight to 5 healthy foals when they were 24 to 28 hours, 10 to 11 days, and 27 to 28 days old. The area under the curve (2,471 μg·min/ml), mean residence time (477 minutes), and zero-time intercept of the elimination phase (4,853 ng/ml) were significantly (P = 0.05) greater, the elimination half-life (339 minutes) and slope of the elimination phase (0.002 L/min) were significantly (P = 0.05) longer, and total body clearance (0.482 ml/min/kg) and zero-time intercept for the distribution phase (2,092 ng/ml) were significantly (P = 0.05) lower at 24 to 28 hours. At each age, a biexponential equation was best fitted to the plasma flunixin concentration from each foal. Thromboxane B2 production during clotting of blood was significantly (P = 0.05) suppressed for 12 hours after flunixin meglumine administration at all ages. Therefore, it appears that although age does alter the disposition and elimination of flunixin in neonatal foals, this effect may be of little consequence because the drug's physiologic activity in foals appears similar to that in mature horses.

Summary

Age and species reportedly affect the pharmacokinetic variables of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. We determined the effect of age on flunixin pharmacokinetic variables in foals during the first month of life. We also estimated the physiologic activity of the drug in neonatal foals by determining the effect of flunixin on thromboxane production during clotting of blood taken from the foals. Flunixin disposition and clearance were determined after iv administration of 1.1 mg of drug/kg of body weight to 5 healthy foals when they were 24 to 28 hours, 10 to 11 days, and 27 to 28 days old. The area under the curve (2,471 μg·min/ml), mean residence time (477 minutes), and zero-time intercept of the elimination phase (4,853 ng/ml) were significantly (P = 0.05) greater, the elimination half-life (339 minutes) and slope of the elimination phase (0.002 L/min) were significantly (P = 0.05) longer, and total body clearance (0.482 ml/min/kg) and zero-time intercept for the distribution phase (2,092 ng/ml) were significantly (P = 0.05) lower at 24 to 28 hours. At each age, a biexponential equation was best fitted to the plasma flunixin concentration from each foal. Thromboxane B2 production during clotting of blood was significantly (P = 0.05) suppressed for 12 hours after flunixin meglumine administration at all ages. Therefore, it appears that although age does alter the disposition and elimination of flunixin in neonatal foals, this effect may be of little consequence because the drug's physiologic activity in foals appears similar to that in mature horses.

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