Craven, J., Bjørn, H., Hennessy, D. R., Friis, C. The effects of body composition on the pharmacokinetics of subcutaneously injected ivermectin and moxidectin in pigs. J. vet Pharmacol. Therap.25, 227–232.
Macrocyclic lactones are characterized by their long persistence in animals because of their extensive distribution into fat. This study examined the influence of body condition on the disposition of ivermectin (IVM) and moxidectin (MXD) in blood and fat following subcutaneous (s.c.) drug administration. `Fat' and `thin' lines of pigs were established using two different diets. All animals were then injected with either MXD or IVM at 300 μg/kg and blood samples were taken at regular intervals until slaughter. Two IVM-treated animals from each diet group were slaughtered at either 3 days or 3 weeks posttreatment. Two MXD-treated animals from each diet group were slaughtered at 3 days, 3, 6 or 9 weeks after treatment. Samples of backfat were taken from all animals at slaughter. Fluorescence HPLC was used to determine the concentrations of MXD or IVM in the plasma and fat samples. The plasma IVM concentration peaked more rapidly in the thin IVM treated pigs compared with the fat pigs. The concentration of IVM in backfat was significantly lower in the thin animals slaughtered 3 weeks after treatment. The MXD plasma concentration peaked within the first hour in both the thin and fat groups, but from 12 h posttreatment there was a higher MXD concentration in the plasma of the fat pigs resulting in MXD being detectable in these pigs for 28 days compared with only 17 days in the thin pigs. Despite this difference in plasma persistence no differences were seen in the MXD concentration of backfat between fat and thin animals. Body condition influenced the kinetic disposition of IVM and MXD following s.c. drug administration with both drugs being less persistent in thin compared with fat animals.