The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) meloxicam is a very popular anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic agent used in veterinary medicine. To determine the pharmacokinetics of this NSAID in rabbits following a single dose and 10-day period of dosing, eight clinically normal, 8-mo-old New Zealand white rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) were administered 0.2 mg/kg meloxicam p.o. daily. Pharmacokinetic analysis of the meloxicam was determined via noncompartmental analysis. After oral administration, mean ± standard deviation values for area under the curve were 1.8 ± 0.50 and 2.1 ± 0.55 µg × h/ml, and maximum plasma concentrations were 0.17 ± 0.06 and 0.24 ± 0.07 µg/ml for Day 1 and Day 10, respectively. The half-life was approximately 8 hr. Administration of meloxicam at a dosage of 0.2 to 0.3 mg/kg p.o. every 24 hr is suggested. Although a higher dose may be required for optimum effects, this would require efficacy and safety studies in this species. Meloxicam administered at 0.2 mg/kg p.o. daily for 10 day was well tolerated by the rabbits.
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Vol. 40 • No. 4