Drug content on receipt and over time for compounded formulations of famciclovir

Lynelle R. Johnson, Phoebe G. Weaver, Lauren E. Forsythe, Sara M Thomasy, Heather K Knych

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine famciclovir content (strength) in compounded formulations and to determine if potency changed over time. Methods: Four concentrations of oral oil suspension in three distinct flavors, three concentrations of oral paste, three chew treats and 62.5 mg tablets from one compounding pharmacy were evaluated for famciclovir content. Specific sample preparation procedures were used for each drug formulation prior to determination of famciclovir content through mass spectrometry tandem liquid chromatography. Analysis was performed on arrival from the compounder and on days 7, 14, 28, 56 and 120. Samples were run in triplicate and concentration determined by comparison with a standard curve. Content was considered appropriate if within 90–110% of the labeled concentration. Results: On arrival from the compounding pharmacy, 5/12 oral oil suspensions of varying concentrations were <90% of the labeled concentration and 3/3 oral pastes were >110%. Famciclovir content in oil suspensions ranged from 72% to 118% of the label value while oral pastes ranged from 95% to 202% of the label concentration over the 120 study days, and all concentrations varied in an unpredictable fashion. Tablets contained 90–110% of the labeled value throughout the study period. Chew treats could not be successfully analyzed. Conclusions and relevance: This study found substantial variation in famciclovir content in the compounded products evaluated, which, in turn, raises concerns that substandard dosing could result in lack of efficacy or a failed treatment trial. Drug toxicity might also be encountered. Veterinarians must be aware that while compounded medications can improve compliance, they might not deliver the drug dose expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Clinical pharmacology
  • infectious diseases
  • ophthalmology
  • pharmacology
  • small animal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals


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