Voriconazole is effective for treatment of aspergillosis, a common disease in captive red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis). To determine the disposition and safety of voriconazole after single and multiple, oral doses, 12 adult red-tailed hawks were studied in 2 phases. In phase 1, each bird received a single dose of voriconazole solution (10 mg/kg) by gavage. Blood samples were collected at 0, 0.5, 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 16, 24, and 36 hours after treatment. In phase 2, each of 8 birds received voriconazole oral solution at 10 mg/kg PO q12h for 14 days. Plasma samples were collected on days 0, 5, and 10 and after the final dose and were processed as in phase 1. Plasma samples were submitted for analysis of voriconazole levels by high-performance liquid chromatography and ultraviolet spectrophotometry and for measurement of selected plasma biochemical parameters. After single dosing, voriconazole concentrations reached a (mean ± SD) peak (Cmax) of 4.7 ± 1.3 μg/mL at 2.0 ± 1.2 hours. The disappearance half-life (t1/2) was 2.8 ± 0.7 hours, and the mean residence time (MRT) was 4.6 ± 0.9 hours. After the last dose at 14 days, the mean Cmax of voriconazole was 4.5 ± 2.7 μg/mL at 2.4 ± 1.1 hours. The t1/2 was 2.1 ± 0.8 hours, and the MRT was 3.5 ± 1.1 hours. Although concentrations of several plasma biochemical parameters were significantly different at study end compared with prestudy concentrations, only plasma creatine kinase activity was outside the reference range. No adverse reactions were observed in any of the birds. After both single and multiple dosing at 10 mg/kg, voriconazole concentrations exceeded the minimum inhibitory concentration to inhibit 90% (MIC90) of Aspergillus species (1 μg/mL) by at least fourfold and remained above the MIC90 for 8.8 ± 1.1 hours after single dosing versus 6.5 ± 1.5 hours after multiple dosing (P = .003). This difference suggests that more frequent dosing (eg, up to q8h) may be necessary to maintain target concentrations during prolonged therapy.
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