Zanetti, A. S., Putta, S. K., Casebolt, D. B. et al. 2017. Pharmacokinetics and adverse effects of 3 sustained-release buprenorphine dosages in healthy guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus). JAALAS 56(6), 768-778.

In guinea pigs, studies addressing the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetic profiles of different sustained-release buprenorphine (SRB) formulations are still in their infancy. Here we assessed the pharmacokinetic profiles of 3 SRB dosages (SR-LAB, ZooPharm; SRBLow, 0.15 mg/kg; SRBMedium, 0.3 mg/kg; and SRBHigh, 0.6 mg/kg) for 72 h after a single subcutaneous administration to 8 (4 male and 4 female) healthy guinea pigs. Body weight, fecal output, and cortisol levels were also monitored and the results compared with those of the sham group. Within the first h after administration, the maximal plasma concentration (Cmax) of the drug was 64.3 ± 9.2 ng/mL (males) and 71.3 ± 3.7 ng/mL (females) in the SRBHigh group; 11.5 ± 3.2 ng/mL (males) and 6.9 ± 0.9 ng/mL (females) in the SRBMedium group; and 2.3 ± 0.8 ng/mL (males) and 2.0 ± 0.5 ng/mL (females) in the SRBLow group. After 72 h, therapeutic levels of the drug (>1 ng/mL) were observed only in guinea pigs treated with SRBHigh (both sexes) and males treated with SRBMediu cm. Fecal output (quantity and distribution) and body weight were significantly lower in the SRB groups as compared with the sham group, and with the SRBHigh group showing larger reductions. Baseline levels of serum cortisol in healthy females (1440 ± 106 ng/mL) were significantly greater than in males (550 ± 66 ng/mL). But, independent of the sex, SRB administration significantly reduced those levels. In conclusion, the data indicate that all 3 SRB dosages can be safely used in guinea pigs. However, therapeutic levels of the drug were observed for at least 48 h only guinea pigs treated with SRBHigh and SRBMedium. Further investigation is needed to determine if these dosages can alleviate pain in guinea pigs.

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