OBJECTIVE To determine pharmacokinetics of butorphanol tartrate incorporated into poloxamer 407 (P407) after SC administration to Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis). ANIMALS 11 adult Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (6 males and 5 females; 11 to 27 years old). PROCEDURES A sterile formulation of butorphanol in P407 (But-P407) 25% (percent-age determined as [weight of P407/weight of diluent] X 100]) was created (8.3 mg/mL). Five preliminary experiments (2 birds/experiment) were performed to determine the ideal dose for this species. The formulation then was administered (12.5 mg/kg, SC) to 8 birds. Blood samples were collected before (time 0) and 0.08, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hours after drug administration. Some birds were used more than once, with a washout period of ≥ 3 months between subsequent treatments. Butorphanol concentrations were quantitated by use of liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Pharmacokinetic analysis was performed by use of noncompartmental analysis. RESULTS Maximal plasma butorphanol concentration was reached at 1.31 hours. Plasma concentrations of butorphanol remained > 100 ng/mL for > 3 hours (all birds) or > 4 hours (5/8 birds) but < 8 hours (all birds). Half-life of the terminal slope was 3.41 hours. No adverse effects were detected. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Butorphanol was absorbed well from the But-P407 25% by Hispaniolan Amazon parrots, and absorption followed a pharmacokinetic profile compatible with a sustained-release drug. A dose of 12.5 mg/kg, SC, would theoretically provide analgesia for 4 to 8 hours. No adverse effects were detected. Studies on the pharmacodynamics of this formulation are necessary to confirm the degree and duration of analgesia.
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