Repeated administration of trimethoprim/sulfadiazine in the horse –pharmacokinetics, plasma protein binding and influence on the intestinal microflora


Gustafsson Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Box 7018, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.


Six healthy adult horses were given repeated administrations of trimethoprim/sulfadiazine (TMP/SDZ) intravenously (i.v.) (2.5 mg/kg TMP and 12.5 mg/kg SDZ) and orally (p.o.) as a paste (5 mg/kg TMP and 25 mg/kg SDZ). Both formulations were given twice daily for 5 days, with a 3-week interval between i.v. and oral administration. The influence of the drug combination on the intestinal microflora was examined and the plasma concentrations, pharmacokinetic parameters and plasma protein binding were determined. There were no major changes in the bacterial intestinal flora and no clinical evidence of gastrointestinal disturbances following the i.v. and oral TMP/SDZ administration. An initial reduction in the number of coliform bacteria during the treatment was notable, though with no evident difference between i.v. and oral treatment. The minimum concentration during a dose interval at steady state (Cminss), the elimination half-life (t1/2β) and the mean residence time (MRT) were significantly greater after oral administration compared to i.v. for both TMP and SDZ. The plasma protein binding was measured to be 20% for SDZ and 35% for TMP. Oral administration of TMP/SDZ in a dose of 30 mg/kg given twice daily in the form of paste appeared as a satisfactory method for obtaining plasma levels above MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration in vitro) values during the interdosing interval.