Objective-To investigate the pharmacokinetics of penciclovir in healthy cats following oral administration of famciclovir or IV infusion of penciclovir. Animals-6 cats. Procedures-Cats received famciclovir (40 [n = 3] or 90  mg/kg, PO, once) in a balanced crossover-design study; the alternate dose was administered after a ≥ 2-week washout period. After another washout period (≥ 4 weeks), cats received an IV infusion of penciclovir (10 mg/kg delivered over 1 hour). Plasma penciclovir concentrations were analyzed via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry at fixed time points after drug administration. Results-Mean ± SD maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) of penciclovir following oral administration of 40 and 90 mg of famciclovir/kg was 1.34 ± 0.33 μg/mL and 1.28 ± 0.42 μg/ mL and occurred at 2.8 ± 1.8 hours and 3.0 ± 1.1 hours, respectively; penciclovir elimination half-life was 4.2 ± 0.6 hours and 4.8 ± 1.4 hours, respectively; and penciclovir bioavailability was 12.5 ± 3.0% and 7.0 ± 1.8%, respectively. Following IV infusion of penciclovir (10 mg/ kg), mean ± SD penciclovir clearance, volume of distribution, and elimination half-life were 4.3 ± 0.8 mL/min/kg, 0.6 ± 0.1 L/kg, and 1.9 ± 0.4 hours, respectively. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Penciclovir pharmacokinetics following oral administration of famciclovir were nonlinear within the dosage range studied, likely because of saturation of famciclovir metabolism. Oral administration of famciclovir at 40 or 90 mg/kg produced similar Cmax and time to Cmax values. Therefore, the lower dose may have similar antiviral efficacy to that proven for the higher dose.
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