Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of butorphanol following intravenous administration to the horse

Authors

  • H. K. KNYCH,

    1. K.L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
    2. Department of Veterinary Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • H. C. CASBEER,

    1. K.L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • D. S. McKEMIE,

    1. K.L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • R. M. ARTHUR

    1. School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Heather K. Knych, K.L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, West Health Science Drive, Davis, CA 95616, USA. E-mail: hkknych@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

Knych, H. K., Casbeer, H. C., McKemie, D. S., Arthur, R. M. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of butorphanol following intravenous administration to the horse. J. vet. Pharmacol. Therap. 36, 21–30.

Butorphanol is a narcotic analgesic commonly used in horses. Currently, any detectable concentration of butorphanol in biological samples collected from performance horses is considered a violation. The primary goal of the study reported here was to update the pharmacokinetics of butorphanol following intravenous administration, utilizing a highly sensitive liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) assay that is currently employed in many drug-testing laboratories. An additional objective was to characterize behavioral and cardiac effects following administration of butorphanol. Ten exercised adult horses received a single intravenous dose of 0.1 mg/kg butorphanol. Blood and urine samples were collected at time 0 and at various times for up to 120 h and analyzed using LC-MS. Mean ± SD systemic clearance, steady-state volume of distribution, and terminal elimination half-life were 11.5 ± 2.5 mL/min/kg, 1.4 ± 0.3 L/kg, and 5.9 ± 1.5 h, respectively. Butorphanol plasma concentrations were below the limit of detection (LOD) (0.01 ng/mL) by 48 h post administration. Urine butorphanol concentrations were below the LOD (0.05 ng/mL) of the assay in seven of 10 horses by 120 h post drug administration. Following administration, horses appeared excited as noted by an increase in heart rate and locomotion. Gastrointestinal sounds were markedly decreased for up to 24 h.

Ancillary