Pharmacokinetics and adverse effects of oral meloxicam tablets in healthy adult horses


Dr Vander Werf, Department of Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL, USA. E-mail:


The objective of this study was to assess the pharmacokinetic profile and determine whether any adverse effects would occur in seven healthy adult horses following oral meloxicam tablet administration once daily for 14 days at a dose of 0.6 mg/kg·bwt. Horses were evaluated for health using physical examination, complete blood count, serum chemistry, urinalysis, and gastroscopy at the beginning and end of the study. Blood was collected for the quantification of meloxicam concentrations with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. The mean terminal half-life was 4.99 ± 1.11 h. There was no significant difference between the mean Cmax, 1.58 ± 0.71 ng/mL at Tmax 3.48 ± 3.30 h on day 1, 2.07 ± 0.94 ng/mL at Tmax 1.24 ± 1.24 h on day 7, and 1.81 ± 0.76 ng/mL at 1.93 ± 1.30 h on day 14 (P = 0.30). There was a statistically significant difference between the Tmax on the sample days (P = 0.04). No statistically significant increase in gastric ulcer score or laboratory analytes was noted. Oral meloxicam tablets were absorbed in adult horses, and adverse effects were not statistically significant in this study. Further studies should evaluate the adverse effects and efficacy of meloxicam tablets in a larger population of horses before routine use can be recommended.