Pharmacokinetics, metabolism and excretion of phenylbutazone in cattle following intravenous, intramuscular and oral administration
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The absorption, metabolism and urinary excretion of phenylbutazone were investigated in six adult cattle in a cross-over study involving administration intravenously, intramuscularly and orally at a dose rate of 4.4 mg kg-1. Following intravenous injection plasma disposition was described by a three compartment open model with mean elimination half-life (t1/2 beta) and clearance (ClB) values of 35.9 hours and 2.77 ml kg-1 h-1, respectively. Somewhat longer t1/2 beta values were obtained after oral and intramuscular dosing and these may have resulted from sequestration within and slow absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and continual uptake from intramuscular sites following precipitation as a depot. Absorption was more complete after intramuscular than after oral dosing; area under curve values were almost twice as high for the intramuscular route. Double peaks in the plasma concentration time curves after oral dosing were recorded in some cows. These may have resulted from drug adsorption on to and subsequent desorption from hay or as a consequence of enterohepatic shunting. There was no evidence for opening of the oesophageal groove and direct passage of the drug into the abomasum. Two hydroxylated metabolites of phenylbutazone, oxyphenbutazone and gamma-hydroxyphenylbutazone were detected in trace amounts in plasma for 72 hours and in much higher concentrations in urine for 168 hours. Approximate urine:plasma (U/P) concentration ratios for the metabolites approached and occasionally exceeded the U/P ratio for endogenous creatinine, indicating poor reabsorption and, possibly, tubular secretion. Cumulative urinary excretion data indicated that the hydroxylated derivatives of phenylbutazone are probably formed more slowly in cattle than in horses.