Pharmacokinetic properties of a single intramuscular dose of buprenorphine in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus)

Joanne R Paul-Murphy, Jennifer C. Hess, James P. Fialkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Buprenorphine is a synthetic mixed agonist-antagonist opiate analgesic that is used in a variety of species. To determine if a dose of buprenorphine at 0.1 mg/kg achieves plasma concentrations in parrots that would be analgesic in humans (0.5-1.0 ng/ml), we administered a single dose of buprenorphine (at 0.1 mg/kg) either intramuscularly (5 birds) or intravenously (1 bird) to African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). Serial plasma samples were taken before and at 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, 2, 6, and 8 hours after administration. For a single intramuscular dose, buprenorphine was rapidly absorbed, and plasma concentrations had a mean residence time of 1.0 hour, elimination half-life of 1.0 hour, and maximum concentration of 68.7 ng/ml, determined by using noncompartmental analysis. This dose of buprenorphine can achieve plasma levels for at least 2 hours in the African grey parrot for comparable analgesic levels in humans, however buprenorphine is not recommended as an analgesic treatment for parrots until pharmacokinetic and analgesia studies are done at higher doses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-228
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • African grey parrot
  • Analgesia
  • Avian
  • Buprenorphine
  • Noncompartmental pharmacokinetics
  • Opioid
  • Psittacus erithacus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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