Pharmacokinetics of a high-concentration formulation of buprenorphine (Simbadol) in male dogs

Jeremy Hansford, Natalia Henao-Guerrero, Marcela L. Machado, Bruno H. Pypendop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the pharmacokinetics of buprenorphine in dogs following administration of a high-concentration formulation of buprenorphine. Study design: Prospective, randomized, crossover study. Animals: A total of six healthy male intact Beagle dogs, aged 9–13 months and weighing 10.3 ± 1.4 kg (mean ± standard deviation). Methods: Dogs were randomized to be administered buprenorphine (0.12 mg kg–1; Simbadol, 1.8 mg mL–1) via the intravenous (lateral saphenous) or subcutaneous (dorsal interscapular) route followed by the alternative route of administration after a 14 day interval. Blood was sampled before administration and at set times up to 72 hours after injection. Plasma buprenorphine concentration was measured using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Results: A three-compartment model with zero or biphasic rapid and slow first-order input in (intravenous or subcutaneous data, respectively) and first-order elimination from the central compartment best fitted the data. The rapid first-order input accounted for 63% of the dosage absorption. Typical values (% interindividual variability) for the three compartment volumes were 900 (33), 2425 (not estimated) and 6360 (28) mL kg–1. The metabolic and two distribution clearances were 25.7 (21), 107.5 (74) and 5.7 (61) mL minute–1 kg–1. The absorption half-life for the fast absorption phase was 8.9 minutes with a 0.7 (103) minute delay. The absorption half-life for the slow absorption phase was 347 minutes with a 226 (42) minute delay. Median (range) bioavailability calculated from noncompartmental analysis was 143 (80–239)%. Calculated terminal half-life was 963 minutes. Conclusions and clinical relevance: The high-concentration formulation of buprenorphine administered subcutaneously had a large volume of distribution and a rapid absorption phase followed by slower, delayed absorption. The high estimate of bioavailability should be interpreted with caution as values above 100% are most commonly related to experimental issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-516
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • biological availability
  • buprenorphine
  • dogs
  • nonlinear mixed-effects modeling
  • pharmacokinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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