Pharmacokinetic profiles of meloxicam in turtles (Trachemys scripta scripta) after single oral, intracoelomic and intramuscular administrations.


Meloxicam is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug used to treat many pathological conditions in turtles. With the aim to fill the lack of data about its pharmacokinetic in this species, eighteen turtles (Trachemys scripta scripta) were divided in three groups and treated with a single dose of meloxicam (0.2 mg/kg) by intramuscular, intracoelomic and oral route, respectively. At scheduled time points, blood samples were collected and meloxicam concentrations were determined by HPLC. Pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated from the obtained concentration-time curves. After intramuscular treatment, a plasma peak of meloxicam equal to 1590.03 ± 1845.32 ng/mL (mean ± SD) and a Tmax of 1.17 ± 0.45 h were reached, indicating a quick absorption of the drug. The intracoelomic administration brought to the largest AUC (12621.04 ± 6203.79 h*ng/mL) and to a Cmax and a Tmax equal to 1154.52 ± 662.78 ng/mL and 2.82 ± 1.39 h, respectively. Following oral treatment, the plasma concentrations of meloxicam were very low indicating a scarce absorption. Further studies are warranted to determine the effective plasma concentration of meloxicam in turtles and, consequently, the dosage regimen.


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