Meloxicam has been shown to have a safe and favorable pharmacodynamic profile with individual variability in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots (Amazona ventralis). In the current study, we determined the pharmacokinetics of a sustained-release formulation of meloxicam after subcutaneous administration to Hispaniolan Amazon parrots. Twelve healthy adult parrots, 6 males and 6 females, were used in the study. Blood samples were collected before (time 0) and at 0.5, 1, 2, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hours after a single dose of the sustained-release meloxicam formulation (3 mg/kg SC). Plasma meloxicam concentrations were measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography. Pharmacokinetic parameters were determined by noncompartmental analysis. Plasma concentrations reached a mean Cmax of 23.4 μg/mL (range, 14.7–46.0 μg/mL) at 1.8 hours (range, 0.5–6 hours), with a terminal half-life of 7.4 hours (range, 1.4–40.9 hours). Individual variation was noticeable, such that some parrots (4 of 12 birds) had very low plasma meloxicam concentrations, similar to the high variability reported in a previous pharmacokinetic study of the standard meloxicam formulation in the same group of birds. Two birds developed small self-resolving scabs at the injection site. On the basis of these results, the sustained-release meloxicam formulation could be administered every 12 to 96 hours in Hispaniolan Amazon parrots to manage pain. Because of these highly variable results, the use of this formulation in this species cannot be recommended until further pharmacokinetic, safety, and pharmacogenomic evaluations are performed to establish accurate dosing recommendations and to understand the high pharmacokinetic variability.
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