Eight healthy Holstein-Friesian calves and 8 Massese lambs of either sex (10-15-days old) were used to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of thiamphenicol after intravenous (i.v.) and oral (p.o.) administration (30mg/kg). Plasma concentrations of thiamphenicol were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography on blood samples collected over 24h following treatment. Pharmacokinetic variables of the drug were calculated for both species and after both administration routes. After intravenous administration of thiamphenicol, a rapid distribution phase was followed by a slower elimination phase and, when thiamphenicol was administered p.o., the bioavailability was about 60% in both species. The higher volume of distribution and the longer biological elimination half-lives in pre-ruminant compared with adult animals indicate that thiamphenicol distributes widely into the extravascular compartment of pre-ruminants. Interspecies differences were observed in the kinetic behaviour of thiamphenicol with respect to peak plasma concentration (Cmax), time of peak plasma concentration (Tmax), elimination half-life (T1/2) and total clearance (ClB). In conclusion intravenous or oral administration of 30 mg/kg of thiamphenicol provides plasma concentrations higher than minimum effective concentrations inhibiting bacterial growth (MICs) against most pathogens in pre-ruminant lambs and calves.
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