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van Zeeland, Y. R. A., Schoemaker, N. J., Haritova, A., Smit, J. W., van Maarseveen, E. M., Lumeij, J. T., Fink-Gremmels, J. Pharmacokinetics of paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, in Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus): influence of pharmaceutical formulation and length of dosing. J. vet. Pharmacol. Therap. 36, 51–58.

Paroxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, may be beneficial in the treatment of behavioural disorders in pet birds. The lack of pharmacokinetic data and clinical trials currently limits the use of this drug in clinical avian practice. This paper evaluates the pharmacokinetic properties and potential side effects of single and repeated dosing of paroxetine in Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). Paroxetine pharmacokinetics were studied after single i.v. and single oral dosing, and after repeated oral administration during 1 month. Plasma paroxetine concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. No undesirable side effects were observed during the study. Pharmacokinetic analysis revealed a quick distribution and rapid elimination after i.v. administration. Oral administration of paroxetine HCl dissolved in water resulted in a relatively slow absorption (Tmax = 5.9 ± 2.6 h) and a low bioavailability (31 ± 15%). Repeated administration resulted in higher rate of absorption, most likely due to a saturation of the cytochrome P450-mediated first-pass metabolism. This study shows that oral administration of paroxetine HCl (4 mg/kg twice daily) in parrots results in plasma concentrations within the therapeutic range recommended for the treatment of depressions in humans. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the clinical efficacy of this dosage regimen in parrots with behavioural disorders.